For a clearer picture

Part 3 – Lessons Learned

Part 3 – Lessons Learned

While the migration script works; there are some important caveats.

1. There is no alerting from Azure Application Insights by default. So if you have configured alerting in GSM; you’ll need to configure them manually in Azure Application Insights. You’ll also need to look at creating action groups and having a new notification workflow (unless you implement the Azure Management Pack which is the next post in the series).

2. The monitoring parameters available are significantly less than was available in Global Service Monitor:

  • The content match is only for contains
  • The return code can only checks of a specific return code so our greater than 400 configuration in GSM cannot be replicated in Application Insights. I guess we just look for a 200 and anything else is an issue
  • GSM has a list of performance metrics that you can collect; Azure Application Insights has just response time.

Azure Application Insights is without doubt a powerful solution when used as part of monitoring web applications but as a pure URL monitor (simple ping test) you need to think whether what it provides is worth the effort of deployment. If you are already an Azure customer using Application Insights then it is a no brainer. If you don’t have an Azure presence then you probably already have another solution that you can use via your Cloud provider. If you are an Azure customer who doesn’t use Application Insights yet then the migration brings less functionality than GSM and requires more administrative overhead to configure; especially if you want the alerts into SCOM via the Azure Management Pack. It is for each individual to decide what works best for them.

I have a set of PowerShell scripts that I can run from on-premises watcher nodes in SCOM to gather and alert on a lot more useful data in a much easier way than Application Insights provides. I’ll take on board that my tests are from internal \ on-premises servers so we miss the outside-in monitoring perspective but I’ll live with that constraint.

It is an interesting strategy from Microsoft. It is not just trying to entice customers to Azure; it is a rather crude kick to try to try and force Azure take up and consumption. The short timeline isn’t customer friendly as it doesn’t give much time for customers to consider alternatives. But that I guess is part of Microsofts strategy.


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