We have a new version of the Azure Management Pack guide available with the MP.  I typically don’t post about management pack guides here because they focus on how you use an existing MP, while we focus here on building new ones.  The Azure management pack is a little different though because it provides us with some data source modules and monitor types that you can use to create custom monitoring.  In fact, I added the data source modules to the list of common modules in the MP Authoring Guide.

Azure applications are interesting because they’re just like applications that we’re used to monitoring, except that they’re running in the cloud. They still create events and performance data just like any other application.  The difference is that we can’t go retrieve that information from the Windows event log or local performance counters.  The Azure MP though includes data source modules and monitor types that retrieve information and expose it just like the modules that we’re more familiar with. 

When you install the management pack or get a new application that you want to monitor, you just go through a configuration wizard to setup your application (providing things like a GUID, certificate, etc).  In addition to setting up some valuable monitors and rules that you can just use, it will create a couple of data source modules that you can use in your own workflows.  Workflows that you create from these modules don’t have to worry about the fact that the information is coming from Azure and is not on the local machine.

To quickly illustrate this, here is what the workflow for a standard rule using a Windows event looks like:

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And the same workflow for an Azure event rule:

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Really not much difference there, and from the perspective of the workflow, it’s just a matter of swapping out the data source module.  This means that for any workflow you create with Windows events and performance, you can create an equivalent workflow for an Azure application.  You won’t have the same wizards for them, so you’re either going to have to create them manually.  There are some samples in the guide though that should get you going.