Today, we are announcing preview for configuring Azure Monitor VM insights with the Azure Monitor agent - one more reason to migrate to the Azure Monitor agent and unlock its powerful capabilities!
Currently, VM insights requires a Log Analytics agent and Dependency agent installed on each virtual machine or virtual machine scale set to be monitored. This preview introduces a version of VM insights that will use the new Azure Monitor agent and would replace the Log Analytics agent. Additionally, it’s not “just” an agent change, you get much more:
Centralized configuration: You can easily set up VM insights using data collection rules (DCR). If you are using Azure portal, VM insights creates a default DCR if one doesn't already exist. You can associate the same DCR with multiple machines for the same set of configurations.
Optimize costs: We have introduced a configuration option to enable/disable collection of processes and dependencies data that provides Map view. Earlier, Dependency agent was required to enable VM insights to collect this data. However, with the new configuration options, you can opt out of Dependency agent installation. Thus, collect only what you need and optimize the costs.
Enhanced security and performance: Azure Monitor agent uses Managed Identity for virtual machines for authentication and security. These technologies are much more secure and "hack proof" than certificates or workspace keys that legacy agents use. This agent performs better at higher events-per-second upload rates compared to legacy agents.
How to get started?
You can onboard Azure Monitor VM insights using Azure Portal, ARM templates or Azure policy. The onboarding is governed by data collection rules. You can go to Monitor -> Virtual machines -> Not monitored tab and select ‘Enable’ for a VM to onboard to VM insights using Azure Monitor agent. A default DCR will be created if one doesn’t already exist, or you can select an existing DCR if you want to apply the same configurations. You can also deploy the ARM templates or use Azure policy to configure VMs atscale.
What are VM insights DCRs?
The data collection rule (DCR) for VM insights has three configuration options:
Specifies whether to collect performance data from the guest operating system. This is required for all machines and enables the Performance view.
Processes and dependencies
Collects details about processes running on the virtual machine and dependencies between machines. This is optional and enables the VM insights map feature for the machine. If you enable this, Dependency agent will also be installed for the supported OS.
Log Analytics workspace
Specify a workspace to store the data.
A unique combination of these options will form a DCR.
Create a new DCR
A few things to keep in mind…
We recommend using the DCRs provided in our documentation to enable VM insights. Modifying an existing DCR to enable VM insights may not install the required extensions or configure the required data streams for the VM insights visualizations.
While you can edit an existing VM insights DCR to collect additional data such as Windows and Syslog events, however, we recommend creating additional DCRs and associate with the machine.
More than one DCRs having same event ID and associated with same VM can result in data duplication. To avoid duplication, please make sure the event selection you make in your Data Collection Rules doesn't contain duplicate events.
If you have configured VM insights using Log analytics agent, refer to our migration guidance to move to Azure Monitor agent. For your on-prem machines, we recommend enabling Azure Arc for servers so that the VMs can be enabled for VM insights using processes similar to Azure VMs.
Check out our full documentation to get more details. We’d love to hear what you like and don’t like about this feature, and where you’d like us to take it. Please click Provide Feedback in the user experience to share your thoughts.