Simplify IT management with Microsoft Copilot for Azure – save time and get answers fast
Published Nov 15 2023 08:00 AM 124K Views

Today, we’re announcing Microsoft Copilot for Azure, an AI companion, that helps you design, operate, optimize, and troubleshoot your cloud infrastructure and services. Combining the power of cutting-edge large language models (LLMs) with the Azure Resource Model, Copilot for Azure enables rich understanding and management of everything that’s happening in Azure, from the cloud to the edge.

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The cloud management landscape is evolving rapidly, there are more end users, more applications, and more requirements demanding more capabilities from the infrastructure. The number of distinct resources to manage is rapidly increasing, and the nature of each of those resources is becoming more sophisticated. As a result, IT professionals take more time looking for information and are less productive. That’s where Copilot for Azure can help.

Microsoft Copilot for Azure helps you to complete complex tasks faster, quickly discover and use new capabilities, and instantly generate deep insights to scale improvements broadly across the team and organization.

 

In the same way GitHub Copilot, an AI companion for development, is helping developers do more in less time, Copilot for Azure will help IT professionals. Recent GitHub data shows that among developers who have used GitHub Copilot, 88 percent say they’re more productive, 77 percent say the tool helps them spend less time searching for information, and 74 percent say they can focus their efforts on more satisfying work.1

Copilot for Azure helps you:

  • Design: create and configure the services needed while aligning with organizational policies
  • Operate: answer questions, author complex commands, and manage resources
  • Troubleshoot: orchestrate across Azure services for insights to summarize issues, identify causes, and suggest solutions
  • Optimize: improve costs, scalability, and reliability through recommendations for your environment

Copilot is available in the Azure portal and will be available from the Azure mobile app and CLI in the future. Copilot for Azure is built to reason over, analyze, and interpret Azure Resource Manager (ARM), Azure Resource Graph (ARG), cost and usage data, documentation, support, best practice guidance, and more.

 

Copilot accesses the same data and interfaces as Azure's management tools, conforming to the policy, governance, and role-based access control configured in your environment; all of this carried out within the framework of Azure’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding customer data security and privacy. Azure teams are continuously enhancing Copilot’s understanding of each service and capability, and every day, that understanding will help Copilot become even more helpful. 

 

Read on to explore some of the additional scenarios being used in Microsoft Copilot for Azure today.

Learning Azure and providing recommendations

Modern clouds offer a breadth of services and capabilities—and Copilot helps you learn about every service. It can also provide tailored recommendations for the services your workloads need.  Insights are delivered directly to you in the management console, accompanied by links for further reading. Copilot is up to date with the latest Azure documentation, ensuring you’re getting the most current and relevant answers to your questions. Copilot navigates to the precise location in the portal needed to perform tasks. This feature speeds up the process from question to action.

 

Copilot can also answer questions in context of the resources you’re managing, enabling you to ask about sizing, resiliency, or the tradeoffs between possible solutions.

Understanding cloud environments

The number and types of resources deployed in cloud environments are increasing. Copilot helps answer questions about a cloud environment faster and more easily. In addition to answering questions about your environment, Copilot also facilitates the construction of Kusto Query Language (KQL) queries for use within Azure Resource Graph. Whatever your experience level, Copilot accelerates the generation of insights about your Azure resources and their deployment environments.

 

While baseline familiarity with the Kusto Query Language can be beneficial, Copilot is designed to assist users ranging from novices to experts in achieving their Azure Resource Graph objectives, anywhere in Azure portal. You can easily open generated queries with the Azure Resource Graph Explorer, enabling you to review generated queries to ensure they accurately reflect the intended questions.

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Optimizing cost and performance  

It’s critical for teams to get insights into spending, recommendations on how to optimize and predictive scenarios or “what-if” analyses. Copilot aids in understanding invoices, spending patterns, changes, and outliers, and it recommends cost optimizations. Copilot can help you better analyze, estimate, and optimize your cloud costs. For example, if you prompt Copilot with questions like, "Why did my cost spike on July 8?" or "Show me the subscriptions that costs the most," you’ll get an immediate response based on your usage, billing, and cost data.  

  

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Copilot is integrated with the advanced AI algorithms in Application Insights Code Optimizations to detect CPU and memory usage performance issues at a code level and provides recommendations on how to fix them. In addition, Copilot helps you discover and triage available code recommendations for your .NET applications.

Metrics-based insights

Each resource in Azure offers a rich set of metrics available with Azure Monitor. Copilot can help you discover the available metrics for a resource, visualize and summarize the results, enable deeper exploration, and even perform anomaly detection to analyze unexpected changes and provide recommendations to address the issue. Copilot can also access data in Azure Monitor managed service for Prometheus, enabling the creation of PromQL queries.

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CLI scripting

Azure CLI can manage all Azure resources from the command line and in scripts. With more than 9,000 commands and associated parameters. Copilot helps you easily and quickly identify the command and its parameters to carry out your specified operation. If a task requires multiple commands, Copilot generates a script aligned with Azure and scripting best practices. These scripts can be directly executed in the portal using Cloud Shell or copied for use in repeatable operations or automation.

 

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Support and troubleshooting

When issues arise, quickly accessing the necessary information and assistance for resolution is critical. Copilot provides troubleshooting insight generated from Azure documentation and built-in, service-specific troubleshooting tools. Copilot will quickly provide step-by-step guidance for troubleshooting, while providing links to the right documentation. If more help is needed, Copilot will direct you to assisted support if requested.   

 

Copilot is also aware of service-specific diagnostics and troubleshooting tools to help you choose the perfect tool to assist you, whether it's related to high CPU usage, networking issues, getting a memory dump, scaling resources to support increased demand or more.

 

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Hybrid management

IT estates are complex with many workloads run across datacenters, operational edge environments, like factories, and multicloud. Azure Arc creates a bridge between the Azure controls and tools, and those workloads. Copilot can also be used to design, operate, optimize, and troubleshoot Azure Arc-enabled workloads. Azure Arc facilitates the transfer of valuable telemetry and observability data flows back to Azure. This lets you swiftly address outages, reinstate services, and resolve root causes to prevent recurrences.


Building responsibly

Copilot for Azure is designed for the needs of the enterprise. Our efforts are guided by our AI principles and Responsible AI Standard and build on decades of research on grounding and privacy-preserving machine learning. Microsoft’s work on AI is reviewed for potential harms and mitigations by a multidisciplinary team of researchers, engineers, and policy experts. All of the features in Copilot are carried out within the Azure framework of safeguarding our customers’ data security and privacy. Copilot automatically inherits your organization’s security, compliance, and privacy policies for Azure. Data is managed in line with our current commitments. Copilot large language models are not trained on your tenant data.

 

Copilot can only access data from Azure and perform actions against Azure when the current user has permission via role-based access control. All requests to Azure Resource Manager and other APIs are made on behalf of the user. Copilot does not have its own identity from a security perspective. When a user asks, ‘How many VMs do I have?’ the answer will be the same as if they went to Resource Graph Explorer and wrote / executed that query on their own.


What’s next

Microsoft Copilot for Azure is already being used internally by Microsoft employees and with a small group of customers. Today, we’re excited about the next step as we announce and launch the preview to you! Please click here to sign up. We’ll onboard customers into the preview on a weekly basis. In the coming weeks, we'll continuously add new capabilities and make improvements based on your feedback. 


Learn more

 

1Research: quantifying GitHub Copilot’s impact on developer productivity and happiness, Eirini Kalliamvakou, GitHub. Sept. 7, 2022.

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