Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Global Service Monitor Gets Some Location Changes!

I've just seen a post up on the official SCOM Engineering Blog about some changes to their Global Service Monitor (GSM) offering.

Due to changes in the GSM cloud infrastructure, four of their monitoring nodes will be moving to another location within the same geo-area.

These are the locations that are affected and where they're moving to:
  • London to Dublin
  • Taipei to Hong Kong
  • US: Newark to US: Ashburn
  • US: Los Angeles to US: San Jose

(Finally, we're getting Dublin on the monitoring map!)
All this means is that if you've configured some GSM tests originating in any of the four locations above, these same tests will be automatically moved during April and May 2014. The GSM template will reflect these new location names and will be available for all new tests that you want to create, but your display names for existing tests will not change until you re-save your template.
Check out the original posting here:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Walkthrough of the New Microsoft Azure Dashboard

Today at the Microsoft BUILD conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced a major update to their Microsoft Azure portal. They've added a new interactive dashboard and after I've had a chance to play around with it using my own Azure subscription, my first impression - it seriously rocks!

Here's a screenshot of what they've done:

The first thing that gets you with this portal is the vibrant colours and the different tiles - which have obviously been designed with touch compatible devices in mind.

The main tile in the middle shows a real-time health state of each of the various Microsoft datacentre's around the globe...

Clicking on this tile will open up a scrollable list of all the various Azure services and their associated health states as shown here..

The tile at the bottom-left.....

 gives you access to the Azure Gallery as shown here...

The Billing tile below gives me a good reminder of how little credit I have left to use up for my demo environments!

The new navigation bar on the left-hand side is really slick too and the Notifications link will give me information on any problems or things that need my attention as part of my subscriptions...

Clicking the 'Browse' view, you can get access to the newly announced 'Resource Groups' feature as shown here.....

Which expands out to...

One of my favourite areas of this new dashboard is it's integration with the recently released Application Insights feature of Visual Studio Online, which can be accessed from the 'Websites' option inside the 'Browse' link from the navigation bar as shown here....

This expands out to...

Scrolling down through your website information gives you more Usage data like this...

 You also get your Operational data and information from these tiles...

Note: If you want to learn more about some of the data analytics and insights behind the website tiles, then check out my step-by-step walkthrough series of deploying Application Insights in Visual Studio Online here:

 Application Insights Deep Dive Part 1 - Getting Started


All things considered, I think Microsoft has done an awesome job of getting these types of visualisations into Azure and as a SCOM consultant, it's this type of value-add that draws customers to the product.

I read a tweet today during the BUILD conference where someone mentioned that this new Azure dashboard makes Amazon's AWS offering look like Notepad - I have to say, on the surface of it, that sounds like a pretty good analogy!

If you like what you see and have an Azure subscription, you can give the new dashboard a test drive yourself from the following link: