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As enterprises deploy more applications to cloud providers, the need to monitor cloud workload performance, availability, costs and other metrics grows. Native cloud management tools might not be enough.
A key benefit to using Microsoft's native Azure management tool -- System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 -- is the level of integration between Azure and SCOM. However, organizations often want or need more granular insights into cloud workload management and monitoring. In addition to native Azure management tools such as PowerShell scripts and SCOM 2012, organizations can call on numerous third-party products.
ManageEngine offers a free agentless tool to monitor the Azure environment, services, logs and resources by instance. Cerebrata's Azure Management Studio tool assists with storage, diagnostics and workflows in Azure. And offerings such as New Relic and AppDynamics' Application Performance Management provide performance metrics for cloud-based applications running in Azure.
Some vendors focus on managed services rather than Azure management tools. For example, third-party managed services provider Datapipe offers Microsoft Azure Cloud Management Services to assist enterprises with problem support and resolution, cloud lifecycle management, billing, cost assessment and so on. Cloud monitoring and system automation for Azure from CloudMonix provides real-time dashboards, alerts and metrics, along with automation features such as self-healing deployments, resource auto scaling and task scheduling.
Regardless of the particular Azure management tool and its features, potential users always need to consider all viable options, then ensure proper integration into the prevailing environment. Gauge the effect of adding another Azure monitoring tool on IT staff or end users. This requires extensive testing, evaluation and proof-of-principle projects before committing to a deployment.
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