Working with On-prem machines in SquaredUp for Azure

Sameer Mhaisekar

SquaredUp, Technical Evangelist

If you’ve been using SquaredUp for Azure, you’re familiar with its abilities to treat Azure native virtual machines . You can create a number of amazing and useful visualizations with them, such as displaying their health state, performance charts, costs, and so on. The following dashboard is a great example:

You can also drill down into different perspectives of an Azure virtual machine:

This is all excellent and super useful, but one question we frequently get asked is: how do I do these things with my on-prem servers that I’ve connected to Azure Monitor? Well, can I even do that as I cannot select those connected machines as a resource in SquaredUp?

Short answer to that is no – but yes. Let me explain.

While it is true that you cannot select connected on-prem servers via drop-down in SquaredUp, simply because they are not a native resource (not traditionally anyway), you still have their log data – and you can do a lot with logs!

Let me show you.

Using Logs to manage on-prem data in SquaredUp

So, I have this on-prem server named INT-ADMIN, and I also have this log analytics workspace named SMDemoWorkspace. Currently this machine is not connected to this workspace:

Let me quickly connect this machine. I’ll simply configure the MMA that’s already on this machine to send logs to this workspace.

Approximately 5 minutes later, it showed up in my workspace as a connected machine.

However, this doesn’t mean it will also show up in my native virtual machines blade.

And hence, it doesn’t show up in my SquaredUp instance either.

But now that we have access to its logs from Azure, we can write some KQL queries against it and pull in some data.

Similarly, I can now run this query from SquaredUp too, using the “Logs” tile:

As you can imagine, the initial empty space is because this machine was just recently onboarded, so the workspace has no data for the time before that.

Azure Arc and on-prem servers:

Remember I mentioned that you can’t “traditionally” view/manage on-prem servers using the Azure portal? There has been some improvement regarding that. Azure now has introduced a way to achieve that (albeit in a limited capacity), by launching a new service called “Azure Arc”.

Microsoft documentation of Azure Arc is here.

Azure Arc is still in preview as of the day of writing this, but it lets you manage your non-Azure machines – on-prem or hosted in other clouds – from within the Azure portal, by installing a special agent on these machines.

I onboarded my on-prem machine using this service and indeed, I can now see it in my Azure portal!

One thing you’d soon notice is the lack of options it provides for this machine compared to the native machines, but you can still utilize some of Azure’s coolest features such as IAM, tags, locks and policy management. This makes it very easy to manage your servers from all sources and keep their configuration in sync regardless of the hosting platform.

One important thing to note however is that onboarding your server with Azure Arc does not automatically connect it to your workspace, as their agents are different. You still have to connect your servers to workspace as usual in order to access their logs.

Since this server is now essentially a resource in the Azure portal, you can also select it in a drop-down in SquaredUp.

You can also drill-down into it to see the tags applied and some properties:

You won’t be able to treat it the same way as you’d treat the other native Azure machines, since it is not hosted on Azure and hence Azure doesn’t have its platform metrics to query.

However, for performance charts, you’d hardly be able to tell the difference!

That’s all for this time! Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to know more about SquaredUp for Azure.

Cheers

Sameer Mhaisekar

SquaredUp, Technical Evangelist