Enterprise monitoring with Azure Monitor

Azure Arc
Azure Automation
Azure Logic Apps
Azure Monitor
Microsoft Sentinel

Large enterprises need to consider many factors when modernizing their existing monitoring solution. Enterprises can achieve centralized monitoring management by using Azure Monitor features. This example scenario illustrates enterprise-level monitoring that uses Azure Monitor.


Architectural diagram that shows enterprise workspaces and monitoring capabilities.

Download a Visio file of this architecture.


  • This architecture follows a resource-context log model. Every log record that an Azure resource emits automatically associates to the resource. This model helps to separate workspaces that collect and ingest from different app owners.

  • Different workloads across the enterprise have separate workspaces. Configuring different workspaces gives teams autonomy over their own data, and provides a separate cost overview per workspace.

    • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) services like Azure Web Apps and Azure Functions Apps add configuration for Application Insights within their workspaces.

    • For identity, on-premises Active Directory and cloud identity providers each have their own workspaces.

    • Azure Virtual Desktop, Azure Pipelines, SQL workloads, apps in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure Web Apps, and other PaaS services all have their own workspaces.

  • Each workspace has its own set of configured alerts. Azure Logic Apps and Azure Automation provide advance alerting and remediation. Logic Apps provides integration with IT Service Management (ITSM) tools.

  • A set of on-premises virtual machines (VMs) connects through Azure Arc, providing an end-to-end Azure management plane. You can also use Azure Arc to connect infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) resources that run in a third-party cloud.

  • Custom logging captures information about third-party virtualized environments, and collects custom operating system, software, and application logs.

  • Log Analytics Workspace Insights provides comprehensive workspace monitoring. Using a single workspace to store collected data from all resources aligns with the IT organization's operating model. This workspace gives the central team an overview of usage, cost, and performance for all the workspaces. The central workspace respects scoping and role-based access control (RBAC) based on the resources. Log Analytics Workspace Insights has its own separate set of alerts.

  • Log Analytics provides further integration by exporting workspace data for archiving or analytics. Archiving data to cool-tier storage saves costs. You can use archived data for further analytics by creating datasets that feed into machine learning models.

  • Monitor connects to security information and event management (SIEM) tools like Microsoft Sentinel to create larger enterprise security datastores.

  • Power BI and Azure Workbooks (for Azure Monitor) provide data visualization and dashboard capabilities.


This architecture includes the following components:

Monitor components

Azure Monitor collects, analyzes, and acts on telemetry data from cloud and on-premises environments. This solution uses the following Monitor components and features:

  • Monitor Metrics collects numeric data from monitored resources into a time series database. Metrics in Monitor are lightweight and support near real-time scenarios, so they're useful for alerting and fast detection of issues.
  • Monitor Logs collects and organizes log and performance data from monitored resources. You can consolidate data from multiple sources, including Azure platform logs, into a single workspace. You can analyze the data by using a sophisticated query language in Log Analytics.
  • Azure Monitor agent can send data to both Monitor Logs and Monitor Metrics. The Azure Monitor agent uses configurable Data Collection Rules (DCRs), and doesn't require workspace keys to connect.
  • Application Insights monitors live applications on a wide variety of platforms across cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments. Application Insights automatically detects performance anomalies. Application Insights includes powerful analytics tools to help you understand usage and diagnose issues.
  • Azure Virtual Desktop insights uses Monitor for Azure Virtual Desktop to help IT professionals understand their Azure Virtual Desktop environments.
  • Container insights monitors the performance and health of Kubernetes clusters and other container-based workloads.
  • Network insights provides a comprehensive view of health and metrics for all deployed network resources.
  • SQL insights (preview) monitors health and help you diagnose problems and tune performance for any product in the Azure SQL family.
  • VM insights monitors the performance and health of VMs and virtual machine scale sets. VM insights include running processes and dependencies on other resources.
  • IT Service Management Connector (ITSMC) provides a bi-directional connection between Azure and supported ITSM tools to help you resolve work items faster.
  • Azure Workbooks for Azure Monitor provides a flexible canvas to analyze multiple Azure data sources and combine them into interactive visual reports.
  • Log Analytics creates and runs queries on Monitor Logs data in Log Analytics workspaces. This solution uses the following Log Analytics features:
    • Log Analytics agent collects monitoring data from cloud and on-premises operating systems and VM workloads, and sends it to a Log Analytics workspace.
    • Microsoft Entra monitoring routes Microsoft Entra activity logs to a Log Analytics workspace.
    • Log Analytics gateway sends data to Azure Automation and Log Analytics workspaces for computers that can't directly connect to the internet.
    • Service Map uses the Log Analytics agent to automatically discover application components on Windows and Linux systems, and map the communication between services.
    • Alert Management helps you analyze all the alerts in your Log Analytics workspaces.
    • Log Analytics data export (preview) continuously exports data from selected tables in a Log Analytics workspace. Data can export to an Azure storage account or Azure Event Hubs.
    • Log Analytics Workspace Insights provides comprehensive monitoring of all Log Analytics workspaces. Workspace Insights gives a unified view of workspace usage, performance, health, agent, queries, and change logs.

Other components

In this solution, Monitor supports or integrates with the following Azure and Microsoft services:

  • Azure Arc simplifies governance and management by delivering a consistent multicloud and on-premises management platform.
  • Azure Automation delivers cloud-based automation, operating system updates, and configuration to support consistent management across environments. Change Tracking tracks changes in cloud and on-premises VMs to help you identify software issues. Change Tracking forwards the data to Monitor Logs and stores the data in a Log Analytics workspace.
  • Azure ExpressRoute extends on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud. ExpressRoute uses private connections with the help of connectivity providers.
  • Azure Data Lake Storage provides secure, scalable, cost-effective cloud storage for big data analytics.
  • Azure Functions is a serverless solution that implements readily available code blocks called functions. Functions run on demand and scale up automatically.
  • Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) is a fully managed Kubernetes service to easily deploy and manage containerized applications.
  • Azure Load Balancer evenly distributes incoming network traffic across backend resources or servers.
  • Azure Logic Apps is a cloud-based platform for creating and running automated workflows. Logic apps can integrate apps, data, services, and systems.
  • Azure Resource Manager provides a management layer and templates for creating, updating, and deleting resources in your Azure account.
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud is part of Microsoft Defender for Cloud, a unified infrastructure security management system.
  • Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native, scalable, security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution.
  • Azure SQL family of SQL database services provides a consistent, unified Azure SQL experience. Azure SQL has a full range of deployment options, from edge to cloud.
  • Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that turn your data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights.


You can use some monitoring alternatives along with or instead of Monitor.

System Center Operations Manager

System Center Operations Manager offers flexible, cost-effective infrastructure monitoring. Operations Manager provides comprehensive monitoring for private and public datacenters and clouds. Operations Manager helps ensure the predictable performance and availability of important applications.

To maintain your existing Operations Manager investment, you can integrate Operations Manager with your Log Analytics workspaces. You can use Monitor logs and extended capabilities while still using Operations Manager for these functions:

  • Monitoring the health of your IT services
  • Maintaining integration with your ITSM solutions for incident and problem management
  • Managing the lifecycle of agents deployed to on-premises and public cloud IaaS VMs.

For more information, see Connect Operations Manager to Azure Monitor.


Grafana is an open and composable observability and data visualization platform. Grafana helps you query, visualize, alert on, and understand your data wherever it's stored. You can build flexible dashboards to explore and share data.

Scenario details

Enterprise teams have different workloads, such as Windows, Linux, SQL, identity-based workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), containers, and web apps. These workloads can be running in any cloud providers, on-premises, or a combination. With such a vast array of workloads in different environments, cloud-based monitoring is complex.

Enterprise-level monitoring must also cover governance, operational best practices, effective cost management, and workspace security. Monitoring must provide enough flexibility to set up and manage team environments, and let teams manage themselves with some degree of control.

Other critical monitoring design factors include:

  • How to spread Log Analytics workspaces across different geographical regions or teams.
  • Monitoring the workspaces themselves, as well as their workloads.
  • How to charge back different teams to optimize overall costs.
  • How to visualize and possibly archive collected data.
  • Creating separate dashboards for operations, apps, and different teams.
  • Giving leadership enough visibility into the right set of information.

Potential use cases

This solution can help with the following use cases:

  • Consolidated monitoring for different cloud and on-premises workloads.
  • Monitoring for container, Azure SQL, and Azure Virtual Desktop workloads.
  • Expanded monitoring scope, such as connecting Monitor to Microsoft Sentinel.
  • Hybrid and heterogeneous cloud monitoring across networks, identity providers, operating systems, and other domains.


The following considerations apply to this solution.


Azure availability zones protect applications and data from datacenter failures by relying on the availability of other zones in the region. Availability zones help provide resilience for Monitor features like Application Insights that rely on a Log Analytics workspace. Workspaces linked to availability zones remain active and operational even if a specific datacenter isn't available.

See Regions and Availability Zones in Azure for the Azure regions that support availability zones. Monitor currently supports availability zones in regions East US 2 and West US 2.

Monitor support for availability zones requires a Log Analytics workspace linked to a Monitor Logs dedicated cluster. Dedicated clusters are a deployment option that enables advanced capabilities for Monitor Logs, including availability zones. Dedicated clusters created after October 2020 can use availability zones by default where Monitor supports them.

Logic Apps business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) workflows

Logic Apps workflows help you integrate and orchestrate data between apps, cloud services, and on-premises systems. When you plan for business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR), make sure to consider not just your logic apps, but the Azure resources they work with. For BCDR guidance and strategies for automated logic apps workflows, see Business continuity and disaster recovery for Azure Logic Apps.


  • Be sure to have a strategy for handling personal data. For more information, see Guidance for personal data stored in Log Analytics and Application Insights.

  • Ensure regulatory compliance with the following guidelines:

  • Azure Automation runbooks that run in Azure might not have access to resources in other clouds or on-premises. You can use the Azure Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker to run runbooks directly on the machine that's hosting the role. You can run the runbook against resources in the environment to manage the local resources. For more information, see Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker overview.

  • Consider the following operational best practices to help keep costs in check:

    • Enable alerts only at times when data collection is high.
    • Review Monitor monitoring solutions before you implement them. For example, enabling Defender for Cloud to collect and audit security event data could exponentially increase data collection costs.
    • Rationalize alert creation across the board. Consider creating a single alert instead of each workspace or team having the same alert.
    • Group resources like alerts, Logic Apps, and workspaces in separate resource groups, and use tagging for identification.
    • Use Log Analytics Workspace Insights for an overall view of costs across different workspaces.
    • Use the Azure Monitor agent for granular data collection, to the level of collecting single Event IDs from System event logs. Fine-tuning data collection can provide cost efficiencies.
    • Use Monitor Data Export for data archival to low-cost storage.
    • Follow best practices for telemetry data in Application Insights workspaces. For more information, see Manage usage and costs for Application Insights.

Performance efficiency

The following performance considerations apply to this solution:


Latency is the amount of time between data creation on a monitored system and its availability for analysis in Monitor. The typical latency to ingest log data is between 20 seconds and three minutes. The specific latency for any data depends on various factors.

The total ingestion time for a particular set of data has the following parts:

  • Agent time: The time to discover an event, collect it, and send it to the Monitor Logs ingestion point as a log record. In most cases, an agent handles this process. The network can introduce extra latency.
  • Pipeline time: The time for the ingestion pipeline to process the log record. This time includes parsing the event properties and possibly adding calculated information.
  • Indexing time: The time spent to ingest a log record into the Monitor big data store.

To ensure minimal latency, place Monitor workspaces, Logic Apps, and related infrastructure in the same Azure region with the workloads they monitor or control. However, there could still be latency issues. For more information, see Log data ingestion time in Azure Monitor.

Log vs. metric alerts

Metric alerts check at regular intervals whether conditions in one or more metric time-series are true, and notify you when conditions meet the evaluations. Metric alerts are stateful by default, sending notifications only when the state changes, for example to fired or resolved.

Log alerts use a Log Analytics query to evaluate resource logs at a set frequency, and fire an alert based on the results. Metric based alerts can be faster to send notifications than log alerts.



This solution uses the following security mechanisms:

Access control

Azure RBAC locks down resource groups that host alerts and Logic Apps per team or app owner. With Azure RBAC, you can grant users and groups only the amount of access they need to work with the monitoring data in a workspace. For example, you can grant access to the team that's responsible for Azure VM-hosted infrastructure services, only to the logs that those VMs generate.

The data a user can access is determined by a combination of factors.

Factor Description
Access mode Method the user uses to access the workspace. Defines the scope of the data available and the access control mode applied.
Access control mode Setting on the workspace that defines whether permissions apply at the workspace or resource level.
Permissions Permissions applied to individuals or groups for the workspace or resource. Defines what data the user can access.
Table-level Azure RBAC Optional granular permissions that apply to all users, regardless of their access mode or access control mode. Defines which data types a user can access.

For more information, see Access control overview.

Private Endpoint connectivity over ExpressRoute

Monitor is a constellation of different interconnected services that work together to monitor your workloads. You can use Azure Private Link to securely link Azure PaaS resources to your virtual network with private endpoints. Azure Monitor Private Link Scope provides private connectivity between applications deployed in virtual networks and Monitor resources, defining the boundaries of your monitoring network. For more information, see Use Azure Private Link to connect networks to Azure Monitor.

Logic Apps integration service environment (ISE)

An integration service environment (ISE) environment keeps dedicated storage and other resources separate from the global, multi-tenant Logic Apps service. For more information, see Connect to Azure virtual networks from Azure Logic Apps using an integration service environment (ISE).

Log Analytics gateway

A Log Analytics gateway sends data to Azure Automation and a Monitor Log Analytics workspace for computers that can't directly connect to the internet. For more information, see Connect computers without internet access by using the Log Analytics gateway in Azure Monitor.

Cost optimization

  • Azure Monitor includes functionality for collecting and analyzing log data. Monitor bills by data ingestion, retention, and export. Other factors that can affect pricing include alerts, notifications, and SMS or voice calls. For more information, see Azure Monitor pricing.

  • The default pricing for Application Insights and Log Analytics is a Pay-As-You-Go model based on ingested data volume and, optionally, longer data retention. Log Analytics also has Commitment Tiers, which can save you as much as 30 percent compared to the Pay-As-You-Go price.

  • Review Logic Apps pricing and Azure Automation pricing.

  • Use the Azure pricing calculator for a deeper dive into pricing.

Considerations checklist

  • Enable Monitor solutions gradually, to minimize impact on environment and cost.
  • Refer to Azure service limits on all architectural components.
  • Set alerts on cost limits. Adding new solutions can increase the data collected multifold, thus increasing costs.
  • Use tagging across all the resource groups and resources to help drill down into costs if necessary.
  • Automate workspace deployment through infrastructure-as-code (IaC) for consistency.
  • Create workspaces in the same region as running workloads, to provide lower ingestion latency.
  • For on-premises machines with no internet connectivity, use Azure Arc over Log Analytics Gateway.
  • For on-premises machines with internet connectivity that are configured for Azure Arc, group VMs in separate resources per project, and use DCRs.
  • Spread alerts across resource groups to avoid hitting subscription limits of 800 deployments per resource group.
  • Rationalize alerts to use a single alert across different teams.
  • Review security requirements for network, user, and overall cloud services.
  • Create a separate resource group for each workspace to help apply RBAC rules effectively.
  • Apply RBAC to user accounts and other objects for Log Analytics workspace access.
  • Use Microsoft Sentinel to ingest identity and security-related logs.
  • Monitor live applications with Application Insights to automatically detect performance anomalies.
  • Use Application Insights analytics tools to help diagnose issues and understand app usage.
  • Use Log Analytics Workspace Insights across the board to monitor and set alerts for the following measures:
    • Ingestion latency
    • Data ingestion volume
    • Ingestion anomalies
    • Agent health
  • Use the Azure Monitor agent to fine tune data collection.
  • Consider data archival to a cool storage tier. You can integrate cool data storage with data lake services.

Next steps