Azure Monitor Agent overview

Azure Monitor Agent (AMA) collects monitoring data from the guest operating system of Azure and hybrid virtual machines and delivers it to Azure Monitor for use by features, insights, and other services, such as Microsoft Sentinel and Microsoft Defender for Cloud. Azure Monitor Agent replaces Azure Monitor's legacy monitoring agents (MMA/OMS). This article provides an overview of Azure Monitor Agent's capabilities and supported use cases.

Here's a short introduction to Azure Monitor agent video, which includes a quick demo of how to set up the agent from the Azure portal: ITOps Talk: Azure Monitor Agent


Using Azure Monitor agent, you get immediate benefits as shown below:

Snippet of the Azure Monitor Agent benefits at a glance. This is described in more details below.

  • Cost savings by using data collection rules:
    • Enables targeted and granular data collection for a machine or subset(s) of machines, as compared to the "all or nothing" approach of legacy agents.
    • Allows filtering rules and data transformations to reduce the overall data volume being uploaded, thus lowering ingestion and storage costs significantly.
  • Security and Performance
    • Enhanced security through Managed Identity and Microsoft Entra tokens (for clients).
    • Higher event throughput that is 25% better than the legacy Log Analytics (MMA/OMS) agents.
  • Simpler management including efficient troubleshooting:
    • Supports data uploads to multiple destinations (multiple Log Analytics workspaces, i.e. multihoming on Windows and Linux) including cross-region and cross-tenant data collection (using Azure LightHouse).
    • Centralized agent configuration "in the cloud" for enterprise scale throughout the data collection lifecycle, from onboarding to deployment to updates and changes over time.
    • Any change in configuration is rolled out to all agents automatically, without requiring a client side deployment.
    • Greater transparency and control of more capabilities and services, such as Microsoft Sentinel, Defender for Cloud, and VM Insights.
  • A single agent that serves all data collection needs across supported servers and client devices. A single agent is the goal, although Azure Monitor Agent is currently converging with the Log Analytics agents.

Consolidating legacy agents

Azure Monitor Agent replaces the Legacy Agent, which sends data to a Log Analytics workspace and supports monitoring solutions.

The Log Analytics agent is on a deprecation path and won't be supported after August 31, 2024. Any new data centers brought online after January 1 2024 will not support the Log Analytics agent. If you use the Log Analytics agent to ingest data to Azure Monitor, migrate to the new Azure Monitor agent prior to that date.

Install the agent and configure data collection

Azure Monitor Agent uses data collection rules, where you define which data you want each agent to collect. Data collection rules let you manage data collection settings at scale and define unique, scoped configurations for subsets of machines. You can define a rule to send data from multiple machines to multiple destinations across regions and tenants.


To send data across tenants, you must first enable Azure Lighthouse. Cloning a machine with Azure Monitor Agent installed is not supported. The best practice for these situations is to use Azure Policy or an Infrastructure as a code tool to deploy AMA at scale.

To collect data using Azure Monitor Agent:

  1. Install the agent on the resource.

    Resource type Installation method More information
    Virtual machines and VM scale sets Virtual machine extension Installs the agent by using Azure extension framework.
    On-premises Arc-enabled servers Virtual machine extension (after installing the Azure Arc agent) Installs the agent by using Azure extension framework, provided for on-premises by first installing Azure Arc agent.
    Windows 10, 11 Client Operating Systems Client installer Installs the agent by using a Windows MSI installer. The installer works on laptops, but the agent isn't optimized yet for battery or network consumption.
  2. Define a data collection rule and associate the resource to the rule.

    The table below lists the types of data you can currently collect with the Azure Monitor Agent and where you can send that data.

    Data source Destinations Description
    • Azure Monitor Metrics (Public preview):
      • For Windows - Virtual Machine Guest namespace
      • For Linux1 - azure.vm.linux.guestmetrics namespace
    • Log Analytics workspace - Perf table
    Numerical values measuring performance of different aspects of operating system and workloads
    Windows event logs (including sysmon events) Log Analytics workspace - Event table Information sent to the Windows event logging system
    Syslog Log Analytics workspace - Syslog2 table Information sent to the Linux event logging system. Collect syslog with Azure Monitor Agent
    Text and JSON logs Log Analytics workspace - custom table(s) created manually Collect text logs with Azure Monitor Agent
    Windows IIS logs Internet Information Service (IIS) logs from to the local disk of Windows machines [Collect IIS Logs with Azure Monitor Agent].(
    Windows Firewall logs Firewall logs from the local disk of a Windows Machine

    1 On Linux, using Azure Monitor Metrics as the only destination is supported in v1.10.9.0 or higher.
    2 Azure Monitor Linux Agent versions 1.15.2 and higher support syslog RFC formats including Cisco Meraki, Cisco ASA, Cisco FTD, Sophos XG, Juniper Networks, Corelight Zeek, CipherTrust, NXLog, McAfee, and Common Event Format (CEF).


    On rsyslog-based systems, Azure Monitor Linux Agent adds forwarding rules to the default ruleset defined in the rsyslog configuration. If multiple rulesets are used, inputs bound to non-default ruleset(s) are not forwarded to Azure Monitor Agent. For more information about multiple rulesets in rsyslog, see the official documentation.


    Azure Monitor Agent also supports Azure service SQL Best Practices Assessment which is currently Generally available. For more information, refer Configure best practices assessment using Azure Monitor Agent.

Supported services and features

For a list of features and services that use Azure Monitor Agent for data collection, see Migrate to Azure Monitor Agent from Log Analytics agent.

Supported regions

Azure Monitor Agent is available in all public regions, Azure Government and China clouds, for generally available features. It's not yet supported in air-gapped clouds. For more information, see Product availability by region.


There's no cost for the Azure Monitor Agent, but you might incur charges for the data ingested and stored. For information on Log Analytics data collection and retention and for customer metrics, see Azure Monitor pricing.

Compare to legacy agents

The tables below provide a comparison of Azure Monitor Agent with the legacy the Azure Monitor telemetry agents for Windows and Linux.

Windows agents

Category Area Azure Monitor Agent Legacy Agent
Environments supported
Other cloud (Azure Arc)
On-premises (Azure Arc)
Windows Client OS
Data collected
Event Logs
File based logs
IIS logs
Data sent to
Azure Monitor Logs
Services and features supported
Microsoft Sentinel ✓ (View scope)
VM Insights
Microsoft Defender for Cloud - Only uses MDE agent
Automation Update Management - Moved to Azure Update Manager
Azure Stack HCI
Update Manager - no longer uses agents
Change Tracking
SQL Best Practices Assessment

Linux agents

Category Area Azure Monitor Agent Legacy Agent
Environments supported
Other cloud (Azure Arc)
On-premises (Azure Arc)
Data collected
File based logs
Data sent to
Azure Monitor Logs
Services and features supported
Microsoft Sentinel ✓ (View scope)
VM Insights
Microsoft Defender for Cloud - Only use MDE agent
Automation Update Management - Moved to Azure Update Manager
Update Manager - no longer uses agents
Change Tracking

Supported operating systems

The following tables list the operating systems that Azure Monitor Agent and the legacy agents support. All operating systems are assumed to be x64. x86 isn't supported for any operating system. View supported operating systems for Azure Arc Connected Machine agent, which is a prerequisite to run Azure Monitor agent on physical servers and virtual machines hosted outside of Azure (that is, on-premises) or in other clouds.


Operating system Azure Monitor agent Legacy agent
Windows Server 2022
Windows Server 2022 Core
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019 Core
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016 Core
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows 11 Client and Pro 1, 2
Windows 11 Enterprise
(including multi-session)
Windows 10 1803 (RS4) and higher 1
Windows 10 Enterprise
(including multi-session) and Pro
(Server scenarios only)
Azure Stack HCI
Windows IoT Enterprise

1 Using the Azure Monitor agent client installer.
2 Also supported on Arm64-based machines.



This article references CentOS, a Linux distribution that is nearing End Of Life (EOL) status. Please consider your use and planning accordingly. For more information, see the CentOS End Of Life guidance.

Operating system Azure Monitor agent 1 Legacy Agent 1
AlmaLinux 9 2
AlmaLinux 8 2
Amazon Linux 2017.09
Amazon Linux 2
Azure Linux
CentOS Linux 8
CentOS Linux 7 2
CBL-Mariner 2.0 2,3
Debian 11 2
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
OpenSUSE 15
Oracle Linux 9
Oracle Linux 8
Oracle Linux 7
Oracle Linux 6.4+
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 9+
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 8.6+ 2
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 8.0-8.5
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 7
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 6.7+
Rocky Linux 9
Rocky Linux 8
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS 2
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 2
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

1 Requires Python (2 or 3) to be installed on the machine.
2 Also supported on Arm64-based machines.
3 Requires at least 4GB of disk space allocated (not provided by default).


Machines and appliances that run heavily customized or stripped-down versions of the above distributions and hosted solutions that disallow customization by the user are not supported. Azure Monitor and legacy agents rely on various packages and other baseline functionality that is often removed from such systems, and their installation may require some environmental modifications considered to be disallowed by the appliance vendor. For instance, GitHub Enterprise Server is not supported due to heavy customization as well as documented, license-level disallowance of operating system modification.


CBL-Mariner 2.0's disk size is by default around 1GB to provide storage savings, compared to other Azure VMs that are around 30GB. However, the Azure Monitor Agent requires at least 4GB disk size in order to install and run successfully. Please check out CBL-Mariner's documentation for more information and instructions on how to increase disk size before installing the agent.

Linux Hardening Standards

The Azure Monitoring Agent for Linux now officially supports various hardening standards for Linux operating systems and distros. Every release of the agent is tested and certified against the supported hardening standards. We test against the images that are publicly available on the Azure Marketplace and published by CIS and only support the settings and hardening that are applied to those images. If you apply additional customizations on your own golden images, and those settings are not covered by the CIS images, it will be considered a non-supported scenario.

Only the Azure Monitoring Agent for Linux will support these hardening standards. There are no plans to support this in the Log Analytics Agent (legacy) or the Diagnostics Extension

Currently supported hardening standards:

  • SELinux
  • CIS Lvl 1 and 21
  • STIG
  • FIPs
  • FedRamp
Operating system Azure Monitor agent 1 Legacy Agent1
CentOS Linux 7
Debian 10
Ubuntu 18
Ubuntu 20
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 7
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 8

1 Supports only the above distros and version

Frequently asked questions

This section provides answers to common questions.

Does Azure Monitor require an agent?

An agent is only required to collect data from the operating system and workloads in virtual machines. The virtual machines can be located in Azure, another cloud environment, or on-premises. See Azure Monitor Agent overview.

Does Azure Monitor Agent support data collection for the various Log Analytics solutions and Azure services like Microsoft Defender for Cloud and Microsoft Sentinel?

For a list of features and services that use Azure Monitor Agent for data collection, see Migrate to Azure Monitor Agent from Log Analytics agent.

Some services might install other extensions to collect more data or to transforms or process data, and then use Azure Monitor Agent to route the final data to Azure Monitor.

The following diagram explains the new extensibility architecture.

Diagram that shows extensions architecture.

Does Azure Monitor Agent support non-Azure environments like other clouds or on-premises?

Both on-premises machines and machines connected to other clouds are supported for servers today, after you have the Azure Arc agent installed. For purposes of running Azure Monitor Agent and data collection rules, the Azure Arc requirement comes at no extra cost or resource consumption. The Azure Arc agent is only used as an installation mechanism. You don't need to enable the paid management features if you don't want to use them.

Does Azure Monitor Agent support auditd logs on Linux or AUOMS?

Yes, but you need to onboard to Defender for Cloud (previously Azure Security Center). It's available as an extension to Azure Monitor Agent, which collects Linux auditd logs via AUOMS.

Why do I need to install the Azure Arc Connected Machine agent to use Azure Monitor Agent?

Azure Monitor Agent authenticates to your workspace via managed identity, which is created when you install the Connected Machine agent. Managed Identity is a more secure and manageable authentication solution from Azure. The legacy Log Analytics agent authenticated by using the workspace ID and key instead, so it didn't need Azure Arc.

Next steps