The Importance of Monitoring Your Azure Infrastructure


Cloud computing has become the backbone of modern businesses. Among the leading cloud service providers, Microsoft Azure stands out as a versatile and powerful platform, offering a wide array of services to meet various business needs.

However, managing an Azure infrastructure is no simple task, and one critical aspect that should never be overlooked is monitoring. In this blog, we'll delve into why monitoring your Azure infrastructure is paramount for ensuring optimal performance, robust security, and overall business success.


The Dynamics of Azure Infrastructure

Before we dive into the significance of monitoring, it's essential to understand the complexity of Azure infrastructure. Azure's ecosystem comprises various interconnected components, including virtual machines, databases, storage accounts, networking resources, and more.

These components work together to deliver a seamless cloud experience. However, as the infrastructure grows, so do the chances of encountering issues, making monitoring a vital practice to keep everything in check.


The Benefits of Monitoring Azure Infrastructure


Proactive Issue Detection

One of the most significant advantages of monitoring your Azure infrastructure is the ability to detect and address potential issues before they escalate into critical problems.

Real-time monitoring allows you to set up alerts and notifications for abnormal behaviors, sudden resource spikes, or system errors. By identifying and resolving these issues proactively, you can significantly reduce downtime and ensure high availability for your services.


Enhanced Security

Security is a top concern for any cloud deployment, and Azure is no exception. Monitoring plays a crucial role in identifying security threats and ensuring compliance with industry standards. By closely monitoring access patterns, failed login attempts, and potential breaches, you can swiftly take action to protect sensitive data and secure your infrastructure from unauthorized access.


Performance Optimization

Efficiently utilizing resources is essential for both cost-effectiveness and optimal performance. Monitoring your Azure infrastructure provides valuable insights into resource utilization, helping you identify underused or overburdened resources.

By optimizing your resource allocation, you can reduce operational costs and ensure optimal performance for your applications and services.


Key Metrics to Monitor


Resource Utilization

Keep an eye on CPU, memory, storage, and network usage metrics to understand how efficiently your resources are being utilized. Monitoring these metrics enables you to identify bottlenecks and allocate resources appropriately to avoid performance degradation.



To make better-informed decisions, prevent budget overruns, and ensure you get the most value from your cloud investments; ensure your Azure Monitoring platform enables real-time visibility into cloud resource usage, performance, and overall spend for things like average compute and storage cost.


Application Performance

The performance of your applications directly impacts user experience and business productivity. Monitoring application response times and latency allows you to identify performance bottlenecks, improve responsiveness, and deliver an exceptional user experience.


Servers/Nodes Available

In distributed cloud environments, monitor the percentage of servers or nodes up and available compared to the total deployed. While automation tools can redistribute workloads, a decrease below 90 percent of available servers might signal serious issues with your cloud server instances.


Network Traffic and Latency

In a cloud environment, network traffic and latency can significantly affect data transfer and application performance. Monitoring network traffic helps you ensure smooth data flow and identify any network-related issues that may impact your services.


Time to Acknowledge

Reveal load balancer or under provisioning issues. Monitor metrics for each cloud region to pinpoint specific latency problems. Compare acknowledgement time with and without a CDN for better performance optimization.


Error Rates

These metrics provide visibility into your application's health and the hosting cloud environment. Errors may stem from application issues or cloud environment problems, such as unavailability of cloud services or misconfigured access credentials for services within your cloud setup.


Security and Compliance Metrics

Regularly monitor security-related metrics such as failed login attempts, firewall logs, and access permissions to maintain a secure and compliant Azure infrastructure. These elements are crucial for protecting sensitive data and adhering to regulatory requirements.



Patched/unpatched known vulnerabilities will indicate how timely and adequately patch cloud security risks in your system -- or if you leave them open for too long.


Requests Per Minute

predict peak demand times, enabling efficient scaling of cloud resources. It also aids in identifying and mitigating issues like DDoS attacks, enhancing application security and performance.


File Sharing

Monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing metrics enables the tracking of changes in authorized file downloads or sharing. An unexpected increase in these activities could be indicative of a compromised cloud security posture.


Azure Monitoring Tools and Solutions


Azure Monitor

As Microsoft's native monitoring service for Azure, Azure Monitor provides a comprehensive solution for monitoring your infrastructure. With custom metrics, log analytics, and application insights, Azure Monitor offers powerful capabilities to help you gain valuable insights into your Azure environment.

Azure Assure

While Azure Monitor is robust, it can be expensive and time-consuming to implement, which can be a huge factor for hesitancy in business leaders.

Thankfully, through managed service partners (MSPs), one can set up the integral monitoring solutions with equally powerful monitoring features and integrations with hands-on expert support – all at an affordable rate.

At Managed Solution, we offer Azure Assure managed services to help you monitor and better manage your Azure environment.

image man at desk learning about cloud computing monitoringAzure Assure, at a Glance:

Azure Assure Managed Services offers companies, like yours, strategic cloud adoption and optimized support for their Azure infrastructure. Managed Solution handles day-to-day administration, providing 24/7 security and performance monitoring, advanced security and compliance services, cloud migration, and on-demand professional services.

Key features include:

        • Rapid API-based monitoring
        • Instant visibility into resources and logs
        • Centralized log analysis
        • And so much more!


To businesses' cloud journeys, chat with one of our cloud experts today.


Best Practices for Azure Monitoring


Establish Clear Monitoring Goals

Before setting up your monitoring strategy, define specific monitoring objectives based on your business needs. Clear goals will guide you in choosing the right metrics to monitor and setting up meaningful alerts.


Utilize Alerts and Notifications Wisely

Avoid alert fatigue by configuring alerts and notifications judiciously. Set appropriate thresholds and escalation policies to ensure you receive alerts for critical issues while avoiding unnecessary noise.


Regularly Review and Fine-Tune

Azure infrastructure is dynamic and constantly changing. Periodically review your monitoring configurations, analyze historical data, and fine-tune your monitoring setup to adapt to evolving requirements.


What the Experts (and Data) are saying


The 2023 State of the Cloud Report by Flexera reveals that an overwhelming 92% of enterprises have embraced a multi-cloud strategy. Despite this growing trend, a significant challenge lies in the networking teams' ability to cope with the rapid changes in the cloud environment.

According to Cisco's findings, a staggering 73% of networking teams find themselves dedicating more time to maintaining the existing status quo rather than efficiently managing multi-cloud deployments.

Furthermore, in a survey by, experts highlighted the following conclusions:

“Monitoring of Cloud is a task of paramount importance for both Providers and Consumers. On the one side, it is a key tool for controlling and managing hardware and software infrastructures; on the other side, it provides information and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for both platforms and applications. The continuous monitoring of the Cloud and of its SLAs (for example, in terms of availability, delay, etc.) supplies both the Providers and the Consumers with information such as the workload…” (

“As introduced in Section 3, Cloud monitoring is needed to continuously measure and assess infrastructure or application behaviors in terms of performance, reliability, power usage, ability to meet SLAs, security, etc. [44], to perform business analytics, for improving the operation of systems and applications [45], and for several other activities (see Section 3). In this section we introduce a number of concepts at the base of Cloud monitoring that are used to set the context for the following…” (

These findings make it clear that managing cloud platforms is growing increasingly difficult for businesses, and only further highlight the growing need for cloud monitoring as well as expert-supported management of these incredible systems.


Getting the Best Out of Your Azure Infrastructure

Monitoring your Azure infrastructure is essential for modern businesses. More than having your cake and eating it too, you will secure, optimize, and save on costs to make every bite all the more worthwhile.

From proactive issue detection, to enhanced security, to in-depth visibility enabled performance & cost optimization – the benefits of Azure monitoring enable you to leverage the power of one of the best cloud computing platforms on the market and advance it to the benefit of your business.

Embrace monitoring as an integral part of your Azure strategy and pave the way for a successful and resilient cloud journey. Chat with one of our cloud experts today about Azure Monitoring and get any questions you have, answered.


Learn More + Free upcoming webinar

If you're ready to talk more about Microsoft Azure with a qualified expert, send us a contact request here and we'll set up a time to chat with you. For a deeper dive into the platform, join us on October 25th for part two of our free Azure Webinar series.


Security as a service on the rise in the UAE

By Alicia Buller as written on
Take-up of security as a service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rising as firms become increasingly concerned about cloud-borne threats.
According to the latest IDC trends report, security continues to be the number one challenge facing Middle East-based CIOs, with spending on security systems in the region set to pass $2bn in 2017.
The value of the region’s security as a service sector grew by just over 26% last year to hit $210m, according to Gartner research.
“We continue to see a shift from legacy IT services to cloud-based services,” said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. “Organisations are pursuing a cloud-first strategy, which is driving market growth.
 “The growth in cloud management and security is testimony that cloud-related services, in addition to core cloud services, are critical to cloud adoption. Organisations will look for increased automation and management of these cloud assets, as well as focus on the security aspects of consuming public cloud.”
Experts say the upcoming Dubai World Expo 2020 will be a critical factor in driving demand for security as a service. The Expo is set to be the largest event ever hosted in the country and could drive up to 50 million extra visitors to the city.
“With the huge number of tourists and investors coming to the UAE, there will be a large influx of data, which will need greater infrastructure planning,” said Sachin Bhardwaj, director of business development at eHosting DataFort (eHDF).
“Businesses will have to manage this large amount of information in the most organised way. To ensure this, investing in additional storage, network capacity and security will be required and this will drive the demand for all aspects of cloud services, particularly security as a service.”

Rapidly evolving threat

Bhardwaj warned that the threat landscape in the UAE is rapidly evolving in sync with the increasing sophistication of cyber crime across the globe. “Cyber crime has become a heavily globalised industry, with many attacks happening across borders via the internet,” he said. “Hacker operations globally have become very organised and sophisticated and malicious actors seek to access the most valuable and sensitive information of organisations mainly in the financial services, energy and healthcare sectors.”
The shortage of cyber security talent in the region is driving companies to seek automated solutions for peace of mind, said Bhardwaj.
“Many organisations are seeking solutions that provide necessary expertise, are scalable, and serve as predictable operating expenses, rather than variable capital expenses,” he said. “Hence, they are looking for cost-effective technology that provides round-the-clock security. Managed security services fit the bill perfectly.”
Bhardwaj said eHDF has seen increased local demand for email encryption, security information and event management (SIEM), end-point protection and data loss prevention.
In response to this growing demand, the company recently launched a cyber defence centre to cater to both private and government clients. The centre offers a portfolio of managed security services (MSS) along with remote managed SIEM services, deliverable within eHDF’s datacentre, on customers’ premises or in the cloud.
The UAE market largely echoes global trends in shifting away from traditional security management technologies and techniques, said Bhardwaj. “Major factors that are contributing to the growth of security as a service include the rise in demand for cloud-based security and high on-premise security costs for organisations.”
Bhardwaj said demand for end-point protection is expected to increase in the next few years because of the rise in malware, ransomware and cyber attacks. “Managed security service providers are developing solutions to incorporate advanced analytics and more powerful tools for detecting, investigating and managing increasingly dynamic threats across an expanding range of attack vectors,” he said. “Cloud-based security services, in particular, will be the most sought-after services, particularly in the UAE and Qatar.”
Jameel Alsharaf, head of group IT for UAE conglomerate the Kanoo Group, predicted a rise in demand for data leakage prevention and mobile security systems over the coming years as “more enterprises realise that the biggest security threats are internal”.
Alsharaf said he has opted for a hybrid solution for the group’s security requirements. “We are currently using security as a service for our email security, but opted for an on-premise option for our network security.”

Slow evolution

However, some experts say security as a service will evolve slowly in the UAE as organisations gradually become more educated about the market. “The maturity of some of the offered services and their associated service-level agreements are still maturing, and this will influence wide-scale adoption,” said Saeed Agha, general manager – Middle East at Palo Alto Networks.
There is currently an imbalance between supply and demand in the UAE marketplace, said Agha. “We will see higher rates of adoption of some services, such as a managed security operations centre and public cloud security as we see more mature offerings come to the market,” he added.
Agha said securing the public cloud will be a growth area in 2017 as more customers move their workloads and infrastructure into the cloud in the expectation that their data will be protected across their premises and the cloud seamlessly.
“Security as a service will be a rising trend in 2017, but service providers should spend more time educating their customers to create more demand from the customer side,” he added.

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New Security Analytics Service: Finding and Fixing Risk in Office 365

Written by Brandon Koeller as seen on
Microsoft is pleased to announce the preview availability of a new security analytics service called the Office 365 Secure Score. The Secure Score is a security analytics tool that will help you understand what you have done to reduce the risk to your data in Office 365, and show you what you can do to further reduce that risk. We think of it as a credit score for security. Our approach to this experience was very simple. First, we created a full inventory of all the security configurations and behaviors that our customers can do to mitigate risks to their data in Office 365 (there are about 77 total things that we identified). Then, we evaluated the extent to which each of those controls mitigated a specific set of risks and awarded the control some points. More points means a more effective control for that risk. Lastly, we measure the extent to which your service has adopted the recommended controls, add up your points, and present it as a single score.
The core idea is that it is useful to rationalize and contextualize all of your cloud security configuration and behavioral options into one simple, analytical framework, and to make it very easy for you to take incremental action to improve your score over time. Rather than constructing a model with findings slotted into critical, moderate, or low severity, we wanted to give you a non-reactive way to evaluate your risk and make incremental changes over time that add up to a very effective risk mitigation plan.
The Office 365 Secure Score is a preview experience, so you may find issues, and you will note that not all of the controls  are being measured. Please share any issues on the Office Network Group for Security. You can access the Secure Score at
The Secure Score does not express an absolute measure of how likely you are to get breached. It expresses the extent to which you have adopted controls which can offset the risk of being breached. No service can guarantee that you will not be breached, and the Secure Score should not be interpreted as a guarantee in any way.

Your Secure Score Summary

The first, most important piece of the Secure Score experience is the Score Summary. This panel gives you your current Secure Score, and the total number of points that are available to you, given your subscription level, the date that your score was measured, as well as a simple pie chart of your score. The denominator of your score is not intended to be a goal number to achieve. The full set of controls includes several that are very aggressive and will potentially have an adverse impact on your users’ productivity. Your goal should be to optimize your action to take every possible risk mitigating action while preserving your users’ productivity.

Risk Assessment

While the Secure Score is framed as a ‘gamification’ of your security, it is important to recognize that every action you take will mitigate a real world threat. This panel shows you the top threats for your tenancy, given your particular configuration and behaviors. Make sure you read about and understand the risks you are mitigating every time you take an action.

Compare Your Score

The Office 365 Average Secure Score is calculated from every Office 365 customer’s Secure Score. You can use this panel to get a better sense of how your score stacks up against the average. The specific controls that are passed by any given customer are not exposed in the average, and your Secure Score is private. Note that the Average Secure Score only includes the numerator of the score, not the denominator. So, the average points may be higher than you can achieve because there are points in controls associated with services that you have not purchased.

Take Action

Helping you figure out which actions to take to improve your score is the purpose of the Secure Score.  There are three basic parts to the experience:
First, there is the modeler. Use the slider to figure out how many actions you want to review. Sliding to the left will reduce the number of actions in your list below, sliding to the right will increase the number. Each tick of the slider will add one control to the list. The target score shows you how much your score will increase if you take all the actions in the queue.
Second is the action pane. When you open this, you will see a description of the control, explaining why we think it is an effective mitigation, and what we observed about your configuration. We’ll also show you some details about the control such as the category (account, device, data), what the user impact of the action is (low or moderate) as well as your measured score. Clicking Learn More will open a fly-out pane that will walk you through taking the desired action.
Thirdly, you will see a remediation pane fly-out that explains exactly what you are about to change, and how it will affect your users. Eventually, the Launch Now link (which takes you to a separate security center now) will allow you to make the desired change right from the Secure Score experience.

Score Analyzer

Since the Secure Score experience is restricted to users that have been designated a Global Tenant Administrator, we wanted to make it easy for admins to analyze and report to their executives and stakeholders their progress on risk mitigation over time. The Score Analyzer experience allows you to review a line graph of your score over time, to export the audit of your control measurements for the selected day to either a PDF or a CSV, and to review what controls you have earned points for, and which ones you could take action on.

What’s Next

As mentioned, the Office 365 Secure Score is in a preview release. Over the coming months you will see us continue to add new controls, new measurements, and improvements to the remediation experiences. If you like what you see, please share with your network. If you see something we can improve, please share it with us on the Office Network Group for Security. We’re looking forward to seeing your scores go up, and making the Secure Score experience as useful, simple, and easy as it can be.


Technology Expert & CEO, Sean Ferrel speaks with SBA Director, Ruben Garcia about Security and Productivity

October 6, 2016.
Sean Ferrel, CEO of Managed Solution appeared on U.S. Small Business Administration Radio Show on 9/29/16 as a trusted advisor to the SMB community. Sean’s hour long segment, “Increase Business Productivity by Being Cyber Intelligent” was hosted by SBA Director, Ruben Garcia at WS Radio Station in San Diego, California. Topics discussed included, “Why backups are critical for small business”, “What are the biggest security threats facing small business” and “What’s the best strategy for blending personal and work information on devices that employees use every day”.

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Microsoft brings together IT management and security for the hybrid cloud

As written on
As organizations adopt hybrid cloud models for IT, the challenges for operations management continue to increase. Among those challenges is the difficulty of securing these complex environments, which include resources on-premises as well as in hosted clouds, Azure or AWS. At the same time, the cost of breaches continues to rise – the average cost of a data breach to a single company is $3.5M. To help meet these challenges, today we are announcing the general availability of new and improved security features for Microsoft Operations Management Suite, a set of cloud-based services designed to help customers protect, detect and respond to security issues across hybrid cloud environments.
Operations Management Suite (OMS) is management for the cloud, from the cloud. Delivering analytics, automation, configuration, security, backup, and site recovery, OMS gives you the ability to increase visibility and control from the on-premises datacenter to the cloud. The advantages of cloud-based management include the ability to innovate faster, scale to meet expanding requirements, and get up and running without long deployment cycles. Using cloud-based security tools also ensures that you are always working from the latest information on threats. Security and management go hand in hand, because the same data that indicates a potential performance or health issue, might also indicate a security breach. By bringing security and management together in a single cloud-based offering, OMS provides the tools you need to address threats and remediate issues without the added complexity of point solutions.
Last week we announced the general availability of Azure Security Center, a set of tools to help customers gain visibility into the security state of their Azure resources, take control of cloud security policies, and both detect and respond to active attacks. With OMS Security we bring the security analytics that are built into Azure Security Center to hybrid cloud environments, giving you the capabilities you need to handle today’s evolving security threats. OMS Security leverages the same intelligence and detection that we use in Azure and is based on the security knowledge that we gain from running a hyper-scale cloud.
With OMS Security, you can quickly assess the security posture of your hybrid cloud environment and detect active security threats. OMS Security will continuously monitor the environment for security vulnerabilities such as missing critical security updates, antimalware, and recommended security configuration baselines. To detect active security threats and attacks, the service leverages powerful event analysis paired with threat intelligence derived from Microsoft’s own cloud experience. You can centralize management for protecting systems, as well as creating alerts, implementing automatic security updates across systems, and applying security policies. A simple approach to search and queries across all data sources lets you streamline the security audit process with easy access to comprehensive and actionable security log data. With these new capabilities, IT administrators can avoid being blindsided by a breach and alert the security team if they see indicators of compromise. Security response teams can then use the same simple search capabilities to rapidly get a view across operations and security data to help stop the threat.
The new Security service includes a broad range of tools to help you get deeper visibility across multiple aspects of the security landscape. Highlights include advanced threat detection and the Threat Intelligence dashboard, which lets you visualize attacks using the same data we use in Azure. For customers using Advanced Threat Analytics in Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), you can now view that information in OMS, giving you a single view of security for IT operations. The new Security Configuration Baseline Assessment identifies vulnerable OS configurations that could be exploited by an attacker. To see OMS Security in action, and get a deeper view on how these features can work for you, take a look at Operations Management Suite Security in this episode of Microsoft Mechanics.
To make it easier to get access to these solutions, we announced earlier this month that you can purchase OMS via a new subscription model. Existing System Center customers can get OMS as an add-on, extending the value of existing on-premises investments.


OMB_8_9-300x72Adallom managed solution
As written on on September 8, 2015 by Takeshi Numoto - Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, Microsoft
I’m pleased to announce today that Microsoft has acquired Adallom, an innovator in cloud security and a leader in helping customers protect their critical assets across cloud applications. This acquisition is the latest example of Microsoft’s commitment to delivering innovative identity and security capabilities to our customers, across both on-premises and multiple clouds.
With more frequent and advanced cybersecurity attacks continuing to make headlines, customer concerns around security remain top of mind. These concerns pose real challenges for IT, who are charged with protecting company data in this rapidly evolving mobile-first, cloud-first world. In this world, identity is a critical control plane for managing and protecting access to applications and data.
Adallom expands on Microsoft’s existing identity assets, and delivers a cloud access security broker, to give customers visibility and control over application access as well as their critical company data stored across cloud services. Adallom works with popular cloud applications including Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, ServiceNow, Ariba, and of course Office 365. As a cloud-delivered, security-as-a-service solution, Adallom will complement existing offerings that Microsoft makes available today as part of Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), including our recent Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics release.
Adallom, cofounded in 2012 by Assaf Rappaport, Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik, has assembled a world-class team with a dedicated focus on making it easier to enhance data security in the cloud. The team will continue to evolve, build technology, sell solutions and work with customers as we complete the integration into Microsoft.
Once again, we are thrilled to welcome the Adallom team into the Microsoft family. Advanced threats and cybercrime will persist in this mobile-first, cloud-first era, but at Microsoft we remain committed to helping our customers protect their data with new and innovative identity and security capabilities. We encourage our customers to evaluate and use this offering starting today, to learn more visit


8.26 Biotech Security top story photo sizeHigh-risk security breaches and hacker attacks are making headline news in today’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Experts are warning biotechnology industries to beware of the data hit list because personal documents and records have been the primary focus of current attacks. Given the ever-changing nature of biotechnology industries and the massive quantities of data generated, it is imperative to stay ahead of the game. With data management coming under increasing focus, experts encourage industries to use the below tips when securing and managing data, which is crucial to the integrity of the industry.
A checklist including strategic planning, compliance, privacy and security will help industries successfully secure and manage data.
  • Compliance: Ensure you have a management system or professional service provider to perform data migration to prevent data leakage and the loss of privacy
  • Privacy & Security: Data is an organization's most valuable asset and must be easy to access by those who need it, but comply with all privacy and security obligations
  • Safeguarding Data: With life science researchers working around the globe, it is important to be able to share data quickly, easily and most importantly, securely. Effectively provide resources and solutions to get data into the hands of those who need it, when they need it, while ensuring all security precautions are taken to safeguard confidential data
  • Data Management Plan: Enforcing a comprehensive network security solution is imperative to provide real-time monitoring in case of a security breach. These methods will also confirm the integrity of an organization during data collection, exchange and analysis.
  • 24/7 Strategic Monitoring Plan: Taking precautionary steps and proactively monitoring data 24/7 is the most effective way to prevent or detect a security breach before it occurs
Managed Solution provides 24/7 support and solutions to help life sciences clients meet compliance requirements, manage data and ensure security for day-to-day operations. Want to learn how Managed Solution can help you with your Biotech IT needs? Biotech Industry Resources Page
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