Table of Contents
- First Things First: What is Microsoft Azure?
- The Functions of Microsoft Azure
- Microsoft Azure Event Hub 101
- The Architecture of Microsoft Azure Event Hubs
- Who Should use Azure Event Hubs?
- Is Event Hubs right for you?
- 5 Benefits of Azure Event Hubs
- How to Collect Metrics from Azure Monitor
- Why Great Monitoring Matters
- Integrating Azure with Grafana
- Why Configure your Event Hubs namespace with Grafana?
Azure Monitor is a convenient tool designed to help you enhance the performance and accessibility of your various services and applications. A comprehensive solution, this tool helps teams analyze data from cloud-based and on-premises environments. In this post, we'll discuss the best metrics for monitoring Microsoft Azure Event Hubs, and how to get the most from the tool.
Before we dive in,
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First Things First: What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that contains upwards of 200 cloud services and products with a wide variety of functions. If you're looking for a simple definition, you could call the Microsoft Azure portal a cloud computing platform, which includes Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions.
These solutions help support functions like virtual computing and storage account, networking, and analytics, among many others. Depending on a team's needs, Microsoft's Azure services can either complement or replace an on-premise server. Azure is:
- Scalable: The solution allows teams to scale resources down or up, as needed, so it grows with teams.
- Open: Azure supports and works with virtually any OS, tool, framework, or language. This makes it almost universally-applicable.
- Reliable: It provides 99.95% availability and offers access to 24/7 tech support, so users are never stuck wondering about a problem or question.
- Global: Azure keeps its data in geosynchronous data centers, which equips it with global appeal.
- Economical: Unlike other solutions, Azure only requires users to pay for the solutions they're actually using. This makes it more affordable than similar options and ensures even small teams aren't paying more than their fair share.
The Functions of Microsoft Azure
As you might imagine, Azure is an extensive namespace platform with many available services. With that in mind, here are a few of its primary services:
Disaster backup and recovery:
What happens to your data in the event of a disaster? If you're an Azure namespace user, the answer might be, "you just get it back." Thanks to its built-in integration and ingestion, Azure offers unparalleled flexibility and site recovery options for users. Since it's a cloud-based solution, it's also flexible enough to back up data in virtually any language and from any location.
Mobile app development:
Azure's namespace makes it easy for teams to develop, deploy, and maintain mobile or web apps. By offering built-in features like AutoScale, Azure allows teams to eliminate time-consuming manual work and adapt to user needs.
Access IoT solution:
As the world continues to move forward, technologically, teams need a platform that can help them keep up. Fortunately, Azure is flexible and scalable enough to become the perfect resource for teams who want to move toward IoT innovation.
Azure makes it possible for users to connect devices to the cloud and integrate solutions with existing platforms. This enables better data collection and a more streamlined approach to creating new solutions.
Microsoft Azure Event Hub 101
Azure Event Hubs, an arm of Azure Monitor, is a streaming namespace platform designed to process big data. Put simply, this platform allows teams to build real-time data pipelines that are stored in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Once the pipeline exists, it sends the data to an Event Hub in the form of messages colloquially known as "events."
Capable of receiving and making sense of millions of events each second, Azure Event Hubs allows users to transform data within the platform via batching and storage adapters or real-time analytics providers. Known as an event Ingestor in the world of solution architecture, Event Hubs serves as an intermediary between event consumers and publishers and helps separate the event stream production from the realization of the event itself.
The Architecture of Microsoft Azure Event Hubs
Before you can use Event Hubs to its full potential, it's important to understand the architecture that comprises the tool. The key components are as follows:
- Event producers: These are entities that transmit data across to an actual event hub. Producers can transmit events and data with their choice of AMQP 1.0, HTTPS, or Apache Kafka. This flexibility is a favorite part of the platform, for many producers.
- Partitions: Partitions are the subsets of the message stream consumers actually read.
- Consumer groups: Consumer groups are a given view of a larger event hub. These groups allow applications to take unique views of the event stream and interpret each stream independently.
- Throughput units: This is a big name for little, pre-purchased units of capacity that dictate the overall capacity of Event Hubs.
- Event receivers: These are the entities that "Read" event data after it's sent from an event hub. The event receivers make data interpretable, essentially.
While the Event Hubs namespace contains a variety of different levels, it's a pretty straightforward system for people who already have a working familiarity with the Azure services ecosystem.
Who Should use Azure Event Hubs?
Azure Event Hubs has a variety of use cases. According to Microsoft itself, Azure Event Hubs is most applicable for the following situations:
- Clickstreams and other analytics pipelines
- Application activity log
- Monitoring data
- Fraud/anomaly detection
- Data archiving
- User telemetry processing
- Device telemetry streaming
- Transaction processing
The draw of the Azure Event Hubs namespace is the fact that it's a big data tool. Without a way to understand, organize, and gather insights from data, even the most honed information is useless. Fortunately, Event Hubs offers a highly streamlined processing platform for teams who want to understand what they're looking at, and access advanced alerting services.
And since the Azure portal integrates seamlessly with third-party services and involves a relatively minimal learning curve, it's the ideal solution for your entire team.
Is Event Hubs right for you?
If you're looking for a solution that can process a massive amount of data without slowing down or suffering from lots of latency, Event Hubs could be an excellent option. Designed to provide the flexibility, scalability, and functionality even discerning teams need, Azure Event Hubs is an easy-to-use solution for a wide assortment of use cases.
And, when you integrate it with a third-party metrics monitor, it becomes even easier to use. Here at MetricFire, we pride ourselves on helping teams flex Azure Event Hubs to its maximum potential, importing and analyzing data to make informed decisions at every phase of the process.
While the Azure platform itself is massive, we assure you that Event Hubs and its associated applications are applicable for even small, lean teams who want to access high-powered data analysis.
5 Benefits of Azure Event Hubs
Not sure what Event Hubs brings to the table? Here are five big benefits of the tool, when it's used to its full potential:
Unparalleled data processing
Azure Event Hubs can handle massive amounts of data in just seconds. This is a dream come true for anyone looking for a powerful platform to help organize vast amounts of data points.
Unlike many other tools on the market, the Azure subscription is powerful enough to handle millions of events each second without a whole lot of latency. Plus, it offers high-quality security - even at a global level.
No matter your framework of choice, Azure Event Hubs's diagnostic settings can probably support it. Available frameworks include .NET, JAVA, Nods.js, Apache Storm, and Python.
Teams looking for a highly scalable solution will love Azure Event Hubs. The solution allows for real-time processing and is flexible enough to scale up easily - as needed.
With Azure Event Hubs, it's easy to monitor metrics and resources using Azure's monitor service or other methods. Advanced alerting allows you to identify a problem before it becomes critical.
How to Collect Metrics from Azure Monitor
If you're using Azure Event Monitor, you'll need to create a pipeline that moves metrics from Azure Monitor over to Event Hubs. For a tutorial about how to collect operational Logs from Azure Monitor (and troubleshooting help), click here.
MetricFire specializes in monitoring systems and you can use your product with minimal configuration to gain in-depth insight into your environments. If you would like to learn more about how MetricFire can help monitor your environments, You should book a demo with us, or sign up for the free trial today.
Why Great Monitoring Matters
Event Hubs are designed to work hard with low latency. Still, their capacity isn't unlimited. In fact, the largest constraint on said capacity is the number of throughput units moving through an Event Hub at any given moment.
If you want to keep things flowing, monitoring your Azure services is critical. Not only does good monitoring ensure everything is working the way it's supposed to, but it also helps guarantee you're not accidentally overloading your Hubs. If saturation occurs, the Hub will start to shut down incoming requests, drop events (including outgoing messages), and return throughput units to the event publisher.
As you might imagine, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, when it comes to Azure services and incoming messages. Instead of realizing your system is saturated out of the blue, you want to know you're on the verge of an overload before it happens.
That's where a solution like MetricFire comes in.
Designed to help you monitor your Azure Event Hubs capacity and receive real-time alerts if you're in danger of overloading the platform with incoming messages or incoming requests, MetricFire makes monitoring simple and streamlined, ensures successful requests, and removes much of the guesswork.
Integrating Azure with Grafana
We mentioned earlier that Azure services offer easy third-party integration. But where does MetricFire come in? And how does our tool help you manage and monitor your Azure Event Hub metrics?
The answer is simple: by integrating with the Grafana dashboard.
While Azure has a built-in monitoring system, it's just not as powerful as the Grafana platform. And when you consider the Big Data nature of Event Hubs, it's easy to see why you'd want the most powerful solution possible. More successful requests are a great thing, after all.
Azure's data monitor allows you to manipulate the configuration options. Doing this involves a few steps (we created this Azure resource, which offers a deeper dive), but it's easy to get done quickly. Once you've selected the Azure Monitor as your data source, you can build a Grafana dashboard that pulls metrics over from the Azure monitor.
Why Configure your Event Hubs namespace with Grafana?
The answer is straightforward: simplicity. MetricFire's Hosted Grafana connector service allows you to integrate all your Event Hubs data while also enabling Single Sign-On with enterprise credentials. This makes the solution easier to use and keeps everything as straightforward as possible.
With Grafana, you can view your Event Hub application metrics by using the Azure Monitor as a data source. This makes the possibly-complex Event Hub seamless to use and allows you to make quick work of your data.
To learn more about MetricFire, sign up for the 14 day free trial, which will allow you to deploy Graphite and build Grafana dashboards now. You should book a demo and talk to the MetricFire team about your unique needs.