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IT Operations Management (ITOM)
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Now monitor PaaS services with AWS 1.5 and Azure 2.3 Management Pack releases

Now monitor PaaS services with AWS 1.5 and Azure 2.3 Management Pack releases

Micro Focus Frequent Contributor

Cloud computing is causing a paradigm shift in the information technology landscape, as you can see in our new Infographic. According to our research, organizations are pursuing newer IT architectures and are moving production workloads and even the datacenters from on-premises to cloud. Over 88 percent of entities today are already exploiting multi-cloud instances. Cloud computing aims to cut costs, grow agility and helps the users focus on their core business by providing high productivity, performance, scalability and reliability. Cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft Azure provide cloud computing stacks which include infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (Saas) service, which are built on top of one another. Developers take advantage of application frameworks and make use of PaaS services to host the applications and don’t need to worry about the underlying services such as databases, storage and compute used to build the applications.

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Amazon cloud-based applications heavily use Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) for distributing incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances. It makes your application environment more resilient and fault tolerant by distributing the incoming traffic to multiple instances in different availability zones. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is ideal for storing web assets, static site hosting, backup and recovery, archiving, and general-purpose file storage. Amazon S3 is typically used in the Amazon cloud itself to store the ELB access logs, Relational Database Service activity logs, EC2 system logs and other configured application logs. With Amazon expanding its portfolio of services, it has become important to not only monitor cloud server instances but also other dependency services that help host your applications in the cloud. It is also important to understand the usage of each of the Amazon services and estimated costs for that usage to truly understand the costs. Collecting the metrics around costs helps to keep track on the utilization, and will allow you to optimize according to varying workloads.

AzureApp.PNG

From Microsoft Azure, one of the important PaaS services is Microsoft Azure App Services where we can host Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Logic Apps, API Apps and use Azure Storage along with SQL/MySQL/Postgres databases. Applications hosted in Azure App Service are subject to certain limits on the resources they can use, which are defined in an Azure App Service plan. The App Services hosted on Azure by default adds capabilities such as security, load balancing, auto-scaling and automated management. You can also take advantage of its DevOps capabilities, such as: continuous deployment from VSTS, GitHub, Docker Hub, and other sources, package management, staging environments, custom domain, and SSL certificates. With just a few clicks developers will be able to host the applications and no longer worry about maintaining the administrative tasks of the applications, middleware or the OS.

But one aspect which needs some focus is how do we trace the application performance? We should know how the application is performing at any given point of time. Monitoring is vital for ensuring the smooth operation of any cloud-based infrastructure, measurement and optimization of costs, and evaluation of business impact.

An effective monitoring strategy will help you understand the detailed operation of the different components of your application. With our Operations Bridge AWS Management Pack (MP), we provide automated discovery and monitoring capabilities for Amazon ELB, Amazon S3 and Amazon Billing. For Microsoft Azure we provide automated discovery for MS Azure App Services and MS Azure Active Directory. Performance metrics are monitored for MS Azure App Services. Both of these management packs include monitoring capabilities for the PaaS services. Deploying the monitoring solution will help you increase your application uptime by proactively notifying you of critical issues and automatically resolving them before they become problems.

Here are some of the key highlights of Management Pack for AWS (version 1.50):

  1. Automatically discover and monitor Amazon Elastic Load Balancers:
    The “AWS ELB Discovery” aspect when deployed on the managed node will bring in all Amazon ELB types such as application, network and classical instances along with their target Amazon EC2 instances running across geographical locations. The discovered topology can be viewed using two different Operations Bridge RTSM views (screenshot of the views are shown below):
    a. AWS_ELB_Account à List ELB instances based on the AWS account
    b. AWS_ELB_Region à List ELB instances based on the regions
    ELB_Disc1.JPG

    Problems with ELB that may cause an outage include configuration errors with the load balancer, network or security settings, and problems with your backend service. The aspect “AWS ELB Health” gathers key performance metrics for Amazon ELB such as Application, Network and Classic types using Amazon CloudWatch APIs. Our Management Pack assists by gathering the information that is needed to troubleshoot and fix these issues. The list of metrics which are constantly monitored in ELB includes:

    • Latency - Measures how much time your application is taking to process a request.
    • Requests - Total number of requests which are received and routed by the load balancer.
    • Backend connection errors - Failed connection errors when trying to connect to instance.
    • HealthyHostCount/UnHealthyHostCount - Count of healthy/unhealthy instance, in each target groups.
    • HTTP 4xx/5xx errors - HTTP error codes which ELB receives from the client.
    • HTTPCode_Backend_2xx/3xx/4xx/5xx - HTTP response codes which are generated by the back end instances.
      A Sample Event received for a backend connection error for Classical ELB.

      Classical_ELB1.JPG

    Analyze the trends on Surge Queue length presenting the total number of requests which are stored when the Classic load balancer is unable to establish a connection with a healthy host. You can also keep track of the healthy/unhealthy target hosts for the Classic load balancer. Below is the preview of this along with other important metrics such as error codes, request counts and latency.
    Classical_PD.JPG

  2. Automatically discover and monitor Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3):
    Our AWS MP discovers all the Amazon S3 buckets created for an AWS account with the aspect “AWS S3 Discovery”. Discovered instances can be viewed using two Operations Bridge RTSM views: one by AWS account “AWS_S3_Account” and the other by geographical locations “AWS_S3_Region”.
    The aspect “AWS S3 Health” monitors the health of Amazon S3 instances by continuously gathering storage metrics like bucket size and total number of objects. You also can analyze request metrics like Put/Get/Delete/Post/List requests, HTTP 4xx and 5xx client errors, uploads/downloads happened on a bucket along with latency. Also you can filter the events for Amazon S3 by subcategory mapped to string S3. The screen shots below show Amazon S3 instances based on a geographical locations with sample events.
    AWS_S3_Event.jpg

  3. Data Collection for Amazon Billing: The deployment of aspect “AWS Billing” collects the estimated charges for your AWS account spent across the different sets of AWS services like AWSCloudWatch, EC2, ELB, S3, RDS etc. This helps in keeping track on the amount spent on AWS services usage. Here is a sample snapshot of AWS billing data for total estimated charges and estimated charges by service for a linked account.

    AWS_Billing1.jpg

Here are some of the key highlights of Management Pack for Microsoft Azure (version 2.30):

  1. Automated discovery for MS Azure App Services: Learn details of the distribution of MS Azure App Services and associated service plans hosted for different Azure resource groups with deployment of aspect “Microsoft Azure App Service Discovery”. The Operations Bridge RTSM view “MS Azure App Service View” lists the Azure resource groups with the Azure Service Plans and underneath App Services.
    Here is a screenshot of the RTSM model with hierarchy and sample discovery result.
    AppService_view.JPG

  2. Automated monitoring of MS Azure App Services: Our Management pack monitors both the MS Azure App Services Applications and the Azure App Service Plans that are contained in Azure Resource Group. This provides metrics such as CPU, Memory Usage and Network traffic of the various Virtual Machines which are part of the MS Azure App Service Plan by deploying the Aspect “Microsoft Azure App Service Plan Monitoring” on the discovered instances for MS Azure App Service Plan.
    For the various Azure App Services hosted deploy Aspect “Microsoft Azure App Service Monitoring” to monitor the request trends, response times, requests rejected, TCP connections, HTTP error codes and get alerts through Events.
    The out-of-the-box Performance Dashboards that are available in the Operations Bridge help to visualize multiple charts with metrics from different resources and correlate the trends, spikes and dips in metrics values. Below is an example screenshot of a Performance Dashboard providing an insight on the Azure Web Apps Service application.
    AppService_PD.JPG

  3. Automated discovery of MS Azure Active Directory: Azure Active Directory is a multi-tenant cloud-based directory and identity management service that offers a subset of the services of Windows Server Active Directory including sign-on (SSO) access to thousands of cloud SaaS Applications like Office365, Salesforce.com, DropBox, and Concur. The aspect “Microsoft Azure Active Directory Discovery” discovers the Azure Active Directory Domain in the Azure Environment and shows the associated information under the appropriate Azure Subscriptions.

This blog covers the new monitoring features part of AWS and Azure latest releases.
To explore the features,
download the software from the ITOM Marketplace.
Management Pack for AWS (1.50)
Management Pack for Microsoft Azure (2.30)

See our other blogs on Hybrid Cloud Monitoring and OMB for more information:

What’s new in Operations Bridge 2018.02: An overview of the latest features
What’s new with the AWS and Azure Management Pack latest releases
What’s new with the AWS and Azure Management Pack latest releases: Part2

Read all our news at the OpsBridge blog

Reference links

Explore all the capabilities of the Operations Bridge Suite and technology integrations by visiting these sites: