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Choosing Azure Monitoring Tools for Cloud Native Integration Solutions

Nadeem ahamed
Nadeem is a Technical Product Marketer for Serverless360. He is passionate about blogging on cutting edge technologies. He believes blogs are the best way to share knowledge among the community and hi
Originally published at serverless360.com ・6 min read

Azure Monitoring Tools play a critical role in all forums right from a small company to a large enterprise. It is one of the prioritized metrics because it is essential to keep an eye on various components integrated into a business application to understand if they are functioning as expected.

On the other hand, it is also valuable in understanding the errors at the right time and rectifying them so that an organization incorporates healthy functioning

What is APM?
Application Performance Management is about providing a solution to performance-related queries. For example, is it available, is it working as expected, is it meeting your SLA, is the experience for users as expected? and a lot more. APM solutions will typically look on to certain tools like App Dynamics, Dynatrace, New Relic and much more.

Determine your business use case before opting an Azure Monitoring Tool
It is important to determine the type of monitoring tool that is required to your Azure Application. Analyze if it is simple enough to know the performance of the application, is it meeting your SLA, is the experience for users as expected? or if you need to find the errors in your application at the right time and rectify it using a tool like Serverless360 which is significantly build to improve the efficiency of your operations and support team in resolving issues.

Azure Monitoring Tools
Serverless360
Though the scope of Serverless360 is way more than Azure Monitoring, it helps you to keep a check on the health, availability, performance and operational metrics. Once, you determined where the actual error happened using its built-in monitors, it helps you to solve the particular problem. For Instance, Reprocessing of dead-lettered messages to a Queue or Topic once it piled up in the queue.

Dynatrace
Dynatrace brings infrastructure and cloud, application performance, and digital experience monitoring into an all-in-one, automated solution that’s powered by artificial intelligence. Dynatrace will be mainly useful for developers to perform Application, Infrastructure and Cloud monitoring.

AppDynamics
AppDynamics provides an end to end visibility into the performance of your application. They provide end-user monitoring, infrastructure visibility, application performance monitoring and business performance monitoring.

Datadog
Datadog is a monitoring service for multi cloud-scale applications, providing monitoring of servers, databases, tools and services, through a SaaS-based data analytics platform.

Azure Monitor
Azure Monitor maximizes the supply and performance of your applications and services by delivering an inclusive solution for collecting, analysing, and working on telemetry from the user’s cloud and on-premise environments.

Azure Application Insights
Application Insights are used to monitor live applications and to Detect and Analyse issues in the applications. It can do anomaly detections and also designed to improve performance and usability.

NewRelic
New Relic Infrastructure can be used to monitor your Azure services based on the user query. New Relic offers monitoring services for Cloud applications, Servers, databases, containers and Infrastructure and cloud monitoring.

The Value Proposition for Serverless360
Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
The value proposition for Serverless360 is to save you money by giving you the tools to allow a support team to manage the day to day operations of your Serverless solutions built on Azure and reduce the number of times that your support team needs to escalate support calls to developers, IT administrators and delivery team.

Allowing the Azure developers to spend more time delivering core features of business value to your organisation and hence lowering the total cost of Ownership on the Azure Serverless Application.

Aid all your stakeholders
Service Map
We have recognised that there are big challenges for organisations as they increase their adoption of the cloud they fall into a problem where the lack of available skills and experience in cloud technologies.

The more cloud solutions you build the more your delivery teams end up spending time dealing with escalated support cases because the support team do not have the skills and experience to deal with them.

This quickly kills the velocity of your delivery team and I am sure many readers will recognise this problem. To address this issue Serverless360 offers Service Map, through which you can keep your support team informed about the flow of your process and the correlation between them.

Customised Dashboards
The best analogy to compare Serverless360 and an APM product is to think about a car. A car has a dashboard to tell you how fast you are going and if there is a problem. It also has a petrol cap to let you fill it up when it needs gas. Both APM and Serverless360 can play the role of the dashboard in your car, some cars even have a diagnostics port where you can plugin and get metrics from the onboard computer.

APM covers this area. Serverless360 can play the role of the petrol pump and petrol cap to allow an operator to take any action on the system. Lifting the bonnet of the car and starting to fiddle with the engine, well that’s where you need a qualified mechanic and that is the equivalent of the Azure Specialist accessing the Azure Portal.

Assured Monitoring
To achieve this value proposition, we need to have some monitoring capabilities because some organizations do not have big investments in APM solutions, but our monitoring capabilities are focused around more specific use cases than that in an APM product so while we can tick many boxes in this area we do not position Serverless360 as a replacement to your APM capability. Further, Serverless360 allows doing monitoring of different Azure subscriptions in a single pane of dashboard.

BAM-Business Activity Monitoring
Any business organization would require an end to end tracking of the business flow to have adequate knowledge of what is happening at which stage and when. Serverless360 encounters this need by featuring the Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) where the user will be notified with transactions and stage details under each transaction. This will turn out to be of best use for all the stakeholders to acquire information on the business flow.

Automated Tasks
Though Serverless360 offers a good message processing for Service Bus queues and Topics we also consider the reduction of manual intervention and therefore we brought in Automation Tasks. The automated tasks do message processing and message creation and also deletion in an automated way by scheduling them for the user’s concerned time. Above all, these automated tasks reduce the manual effort and provide effective message processing for a massive count of messages.

The Value Proposition for APM
The typical value proposition for an APM product is something like the below list of items:

  1. Cloud monitoring as a service
  2. Software Intelligence
  3. Application Performance Monitoring for the Enterprise
  4. Multi-Cloud APM

What this means is that the APM product is focused on processing the mass of telemetry data that an enterprise produces in their data centres or across their 1 or more cloud providers and also turn that data into something that people can understand and present visualisations that make it possible to determine if your applications are working or not.

The strength of these products is often in their range of connectors allowing them to bring in data from many different sources such as SQL, Web Apps, Azure, AWS, etc.

Overview Comparison of APM and Serverless360
The below diagram provides an overview of the similarities and differences between APM and Serverless360.

Conclusion
In conclusion, the difference between APM products and Serverless360 is that APM products address the question “Do I have a problem”. Serverless360 is aimed at the scenario where we understand that day to day problems do happen and we want to give your support operator the tools to efficiently fix the problems securely and safely without the need of an expert.

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