Azure Operational Insights Preview Now Available

Today we announced the preview release of Azure Operational Insights as part of the Azure portal.  Operational Insights is a software as a service (SaaS) tailored for IT operations teams. This service leverages the power of Azure HDInsight to glean machine data across environments, and turn it into real-time operational intelligence to enable better-informed business decisions.

Operational Insights provides powerful search capabilities that enable ad-hoc root cause analysis and automated troubleshooting across multiple data sources. Without instrumenting any code directly or having knowledge of any complex schema, IT admins quickly receive interactive results. Operational Insights search allows customers to drill deeper into areas of interest that are highlighted by pre-packaged Intelligence Packs. Search also enables customers to form their own hypotheses and query data to find custom insights through proactive exploration or reactive troubleshooting. 

A powerful tool that Operational Insights provides is proactive operational data analysis through the delivery of Intelligence Packs. Intelligence Packs can be selected from an integrated gallery and offer pre-built rules and algorithms that perform the initial analysis for critical scenarios like capacity planning, configuration intelligence, and change tracking. Microsoft provides these Intelligence Packs based on learnings they have gathered from operating cloud-scale datacenters. Intelligence Packs allow customers to apply Microsoft-authored patterns onto their data in order to accelerate the time to first insight. 

Capacity planning: get deep visibility into your data center capacity, pinpoint capacity shortages, investigate “what-if” scenarios, identify stale and over-allocated virtual machines, and plan your future compute and storage needs for your infrastructure.

Update status: identify missing system updates across all of your servers whether they’re running in your data center or in a public cloud. Now you can know which of your servers have the latest updates, and which need them.

Change Tracking: When you troubleshoot an operational incident, the first thing you want to know is what has changed on your servers. Operational Insights helps to easily identify operational issues caused by software changes that occur in your environment.

Additional examples include configuration, security, and malware assessment.

Best of all, as an Azure-based service it provides an easy add-on to all Azure, Windows Server, and System Center customers. It has support for reading from an Azure Storage account for events and IIS logs for web roles without installing an agent, and the ability to install an agent on Azure VMs for in depth analysis from IPs.

The service is offered in three tiers: Free, Standard, and Premium. The free tier has a limit on the amount of data ingested daily and a 7-day data retention period. The Standard and Premium tiers do not have a limit on the amount of data ingested daily and have greater data retention periods. Learn more about this new release and how you can sign up today at the Operational Insights page. 

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