Cloud monitoring guide: Introduction

The cloud fundamentally changes how enterprises procure and use technology resources. In the past, enterprises assumed ownership of and responsibility for all levels of technology, from infrastructure to software. Now, the cloud offers the potential for enterprises to provision and consume resources as needed.

Although the cloud offers nearly unlimited flexibility in design choices, enterprises seek proven and consistent methodologies for adopting cloud technologies. Each enterprise has different goals and timelines for cloud adoption, making a one-size-fits-all approach to adoption nearly impossible.

Diagram of cloud adoption strategies

This digital transformation also enables an opportunity to modernize your infrastructure, workloads, and applications. Depending on business strategy and objectives, adopting a hybrid cloud model is likely part of the migration journey from on-premises to operating entirely in the cloud. IT must also understand how to effectively monitor the application or service migrating to Azure and continue to deliver efficient IT operations and DevOps.

Stakeholders often want cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) monitoring and management tools. They need to understand what services and solutions exist to achieve end-to-end visibility, reduce costs, and focus less on infrastructure and maintenance of traditional software-based IT operations tools.

The goal of this guide is to provide a detailed reference to help enterprise IT managers, business decision-makers, application architects, and application developers understand:

  • Azure monitoring platforms, with an overview and comparison of their capabilities.
  • The best-fit solution for monitoring hybrid, private, and Azure native workloads.
  • The recommended end-to-end monitoring approach for both infrastructure and applications. This approach includes deployable solutions for migrating these typical workloads to Azure.

This guide isn't a how-to article for using or configuring individual Azure services and solutions, but it does reference those sources when they're applicable or available. After you've read it, you'll understand how to successfully operate a workload by following best practices and patterns.

Review the monitoring platforms overview page to learn how Azure Monitor and System Center Operations Manager work, and how they compare.


This guide is useful primarily for enterprise administrators, IT operations, IT security and compliance, application architects, workload development owners, and workload operations owners.

How this guide is structured

This article is part of a series. The following articles are meant to be read together, in this order:

Products and services

A few software and services are available to help you monitor and manage various resources that are hosted in Azure, your corporate network, or other cloud providers. They are:

The guide covers mainly our current monitoring platform, Azure Monitor, and will also guide you through how System Center Operations Manager fit in for hybrid and migration scenarios. It also outlines our recommended strategy for monitoring each cloud deployment model. Additionally, it includes a set of monitoring recommendations, starting with data collection, observability, and alerting.

Next steps