Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Azure Managed Grafana, a cloud service that enables companies to detect technical issues in their technology infrastructure.

Azure Managed Grafana is based on the open-source Grafana observability platform. The platform can collect technical data about a cloud environment, organize the data and turn it into graphs. Administrators can review the graphs to identify potential technical issues, such as a sudden decrease in application performance or a database outage.

Grafana is one of the most popular open-source projects in its category. Grafana Labs Inc., the startup that commercializes the platform, inked a technology partnership with Microsoft last year. The newly launched Azure Managed Grafana service was developed as part of that partnership.

Microsoft first released a preview of the service in April. Companies can use Azure Managed Grafana to detect technical issues in their cloud environments, as well as troubleshot on-premises infrastructure. The service promises to automate many of the manual maintenance tasks usually involved in running Grafana. 

On occasion of its launch into general availability, Microsoft is updating the service with several new features. The company has upgraded Azure Managed Grafana to Grafana 9.0, the latest release of the open-source platform on which it’s based. The release adds an enhanced alerting tool that can automatically notify administrators of potential technical issues.

Azure Managed Grafana is built not on the open-source version of Grafana, but rather a commercial edition developed by Grafana Labs, the startup with which Microsoft partnered last year. The commercial edition offers additional features not included in the open-source version. Among other capabilities, it provides a collection of pre-packaged analytics dashboards for monitoring infrastructure and applications.

Microsoft has added its own set of pre-packaged dashboards to Azure Managed Grafana as part of today’s update. The additions will make it easier to track the performance of software container workloads running on Microsoft’s Azure Container Apps. The new dashboards also support other use cases, such as monitoring the load balancers that a company uses to optimize data traffic in its corporate network. 

“The new Aggregate View dashboard for Azure Container Apps depicts a geographic map of your container apps filtered by resource group, environment, and region,” detailed Arti Gulwadi, a senior product marketing manager at Microsoft. “The new App View dashboard for Azure Container Apps monitors the performance of Azure Container Apps by viewing the key metrics of CPU, memory, restarts, and network traffic or by revision, replica, and status code.”

Microsoft is also adding a new integration with Azure Monitor, an infrastructure monitoring service available in its cloud platform. The service includes a feature for collecting logs, records that contain data on notable events such as server outages. Microsoft is making it easier to incorporate logs from Azure Monitor into analytics dashboards powered by Azure Managed Grafana.

Azure Managed Grafana includes a set of reliability features designed to prevent technical issues from taking the service offline. Microsoft today added another reliability feature, zone redundancy, that makes it possible to distribute a deployment of the service across multiple cloud data centers. If one of the data centers experiences technical issues, Azure Managed Grafana can continue running in the other facilities.

Photo: Pixabay

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