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Silos within organizations aren’t new, and they aren’t a new source of issues. As IT groups today work to eliminate bottlenecks and increase speed, one important area to consider is simplifying the connections between teams. The tools you use to manage your environment can be an important part of your approach. Today, we’re sharing recent updates to Azure management and security services that are designed to make it easier to anticipate issues and resolve them more quickly when they arise.

Service management, security, and performance management are all high priority areas where the activities of different groups may intersect. For greater efficiency in handling incidents, you can now bring together system logs and service management features into interactive dashboards for network performance and application dependency mapping. For greater insight into security incidents, we recently announced enhanced behavioral analytics and advanced prevention technologies.

“The insight gives everyone at different levels, and from different perspectives, a better view of what’s happening with an application or a network segment. If we compare it to a water service, it’s like looking at a water pipe from inside the house to the sidewalk and all the way to the water tower.”

Shawn Williams, Systems Engineer, Purdue University

Service management

Connecting your log data across datacenters, remote office sites, and critical workloads can make it easier to troubleshoot IT issues and provide faster resolutions across teams. Gain visibility into the virtual network connections in your environment using the Network Performance Monitor in Azure Insight & Analytics. This network monitoring tool scans networks for performance degradation and outages in near real-time, and enables you to drill-down into each node and visualize network segments and devices that may be causing the problem. Additionally, Service Map, currently in public preview, is an application and server dependency mapping tool that discovers and maps server and process dependencies and visualizes application components, service dependencies, and supporting infrastructure configuration. This helps you eliminate the guesswork of problem isolation, identify surprise connections and broken links in your environment, and perform Azure migrations knowing that critical systems and endpoints won’t be left behind.

Security

Security is a major focus area for most organizations, and you don’t want to be the bottleneck in ensuring your systems are secure and compliant. You can use Azure security tools to monitor security events leveraging Microsoft’s threat intelligence engine, and to respond immediately. Servers remain a top target for breaches, but now with new behavioral analytics and advanced prevention technologies available you can help identify suspicious activity, such as process persistency in the registry, processes masquerading as system processes, and attempts to evade application whitelisting if a server becomes compromised. You can also use the power of machine learning to detect brute force attacks, and to determine if virtual machines are taking part in a DDoS attack by joining network and machine data together, so you can work together with your security counterparts to resolve issues quickly.

Performance management

Application developers and IT are both concerned with the health and performance of critical applications and the platforms on which they run. To help you improve collaboration between teams, we’ve made it possible to use the same application data across Azure services with custom views to meet different needs. Azure Insight & Analytics enables IT to see server, workload and network performance across your environment, coupled with application data on web tests, page views, server requests, exceptions and custom events, in a single, connected workspace. For developers, you can use Azure Application Insights, which was announced at Connect() in November, to visualize application behavior and usage patterns, including interactive charts for app responsiveness, load times, and slow requests. You can also deploy and test new features, using custom telemetry, to see how they are performing.

Azure management and security services enable organizations to see in near real-time what is happening in a hybrid, cross-platform environment. For Shawn Williams, systems engineer at Purdue University, “The insight gives everyone at different levels, and from different perspectives, a better view of what’s happening with an application or a network segment. If we compare it to a water service, it’s like looking at a water pipe from inside the house to the sidewalk and all the way to the water tower.”

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