Troubleshooting guidance for the Azure Monitor agent on Windows virtual machines and scale sets

Overview for Azure Monitor agent

Before you read further, you must be familiar with Azure Monitor agent and Data Collection Rules.

Terminology

Name Acronym Description
Azure Monitor Agent AMA The new Azure Monitor agent
Data Collection Rules DCR Rules to configure collection of data by the agent, i.e. what to collect, where to send to, and more
Azure Monitor Configuration Service AMCS Regional service hosted in Azure, which controls data collection for this agent and other parts of Azure Monitor. The agent calls into this service to fetch DCRs.
Logs endpoint -- Endpoint for sending data to Log Analytics workspaces
Metrics endpoint -- Endpoint for sending data to Azure Monitor Metrics databases.
Instance Metadata Service and Hybrid IMDS and HIMDS Services hosted in Azure which provide information about currently running virtual machines, scale sets (via IMDS) and Arc-enabled servers (via HIMDS) respectively
Log Analytics workspace LAW The destination in Azure Monitor that you can send logs collected by the agent to
Custom Metrics -- The destination in Azure Monitor that you can send guest metrics collected by the agent to

Basic troubleshooting steps (installation, agent not running, configuration issues)

Follow the steps below to troubleshoot the latest version of the Azure Monitor agent running on your Windows virtual machine:

  1. Carefully review the prerequisites here.

  2. Verify that the extension was successfully installed and provisioned, which installs the agent binaries on your machine:

    1. Open Azure portal > select your virtual machine > Open Settings : Extensions + applications from the pane on the left > 'AzureMonitorWindowsAgent'should show up with Status: 'Provisioning succeeded'
    2. If not, check if machine can reach Azure and find the extension to install using the command below:
       az vm extension image list-versions --location <machine-region> --name AzureMonitorWindowsAgent --publisher Microsoft.Azure.Monitor
      
    3. Wait for 10-15 minutes as extension maybe in transitioning status. If it still doesn't show up, uninstall and install the extension again and repeat the verification to see the extension show up.
    4. If not, check if you see any errors in extension logs located at C:\WindowsAzure\Logs\Plugins\Microsoft.Azure.Monitor.AzureMonitorWindowsAgent on your machine
    5. If none of the above helps, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA extension fails to install or provision' and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.
  3. Verify that the agent is running:

    1. Check if the agent is emitting heartbeat logs to Log Analytics workspace using the query below. Skip if 'Custom Metrics' is the only destination in the DCR:
       Heartbeat | where Category == "Azure Monitor Agent" and 'Computer' == "<computer-name>" | take 10
      
    2. If not, open Task Manager and check if 'MonAgentCore.exe' process is running. If it is, wait for 5 minutes for heartbeat to show up.
    3. If not, check if you see any errors in core agent logs located at C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\Configuration on your machine
    4. If none of the above helps, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA extension provisioned but not running' and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.
  4. Verify that the DCR exists and is associated with the virtual machine:

    1. If using Log Analytics workspace as destination, verify that DCR exists in the same physical region as the Log Analytics workspace.
    2. On your virtual machine, verify the existence of the file C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\mcs\mcsconfig.latest.xml. If this file doesn't exist:
      • The virtual machine may not be associated with a DCR. See step 3
      • The virtual machine may not have Managed Identity enabled. See here on how to enable.
      • IMDS service is not running/accessible from the virtual machine. Check if you can access IMDS from the machine. If not, file a ticket with Summary as 'IMDS service not running' and Problem type as 'I need help configuring data collection from a VM'.
      • AMA cannot access IMDS. Check if you see IMDS errors in C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\Tables\MAEventTable.tsf file. If yes, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA cannot access IMDS' and Problem type as 'I need help configuring data collection from a VM'.
    3. Open Azure portal > select your data collection rule > Open Configuration : Resources from the pane on the left > You should see the virtual machine listed here
    4. If not listed, click 'Add' and select your virtual machine from the resource picker. Repeat across all DCRs.
    5. If none of the above helps, file a ticket with Summary as 'DCR not found or associated' and Problem type as 'I need help configuring data collection from a VM'.
  5. Verify that agent was able to download the associated DCR(s) from AMCS service:

    1. Check if you see the latest DCR downloaded at this location C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\mcs\configchunks
    2. If not, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA unable to download DCR config' and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.

Issues collecting Performance counters

  1. Check that your DCR JSON contains a section for 'performanceCounters'. If not, fix your DCR. See how to create DCR or sample DCR.
  2. Check that the file C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\mcs\mcsconfig.lkg.xml exists. If it doesn't exist, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA didn't run long enough to mark and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.
  3. Open the file and check if it contains CounterSet nodes as shown in the example below:
     <CounterSet storeType="Local" duration="PT1M" 
        eventName="c9302257006473204344_16355538690556228697" 
        sampleRateInSeconds="15" format="Factored">
        <Counter>\Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time</Counter>
        <Counter>\Memory\Committed Bytes</Counter>
        <Counter>\LogicalDisk(_Total)\Free Megabytes</Counter>
        <Counter>\PhysicalDisk(_Total)\Avg. Disk Queue Length</Counter>
    </CounterSet>
    
    If there are no CounterSet nodes, then the DCR wasn't parsed correctly. File a ticket with Summary as 'AMA unable to parse DCR config' and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.

Issues using 'Custom Metrics' as destination

  1. Carefully review the prerequisites here.
  2. Ensure that the associated DCR is correctly authored to collect performance counters and send them to Azure Monitor metrics. You should see this section in your DCR:
     "destinations": {  
     "azureMonitorMetrics": {  
     	"name":"myAmMetricsDest" 
     	} 
     }
    
  3. Run PowerShell command:
     Get-WmiObject Win32_Process -Filter "name = 'MetricsExtension.Native.exe'" | select Name,ExecutablePath,CommandLine | Format-List
    
    Verify that the CommandLine parameter in the output contains the argument "-TokenSource MSI"
  4. Verify C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\mcs\AuthToken-MSI.json file is present.
  5. Verify C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\mcs\CUSTOMMETRIC_<subscription>_<region>_MonitoringAccount_Configuration.json file is present.
  6. Collect logs by running the command C:\Packages\Plugins\Microsoft.Azure.Monitor.AzureMonitorWindowsAgent\<version-number>\Monitoring\Agent\table2csv.exe C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\Tables\MaMetricsExtensionEtw.tsf
    1. The command will generate the file 'MaMetricsExtensionEtw.csv'
    2. Open it and look for any Level 2 errors and try to fix them.
  7. If none of the above helps, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA unable to collect custom metrics' and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.

Issues collecting Windows event logs

  1. Check that your DCR JSON contains a section for 'windowsEventLogs'. If not, fix your DCR. See how to create DCR or sample DCR.
  2. Check that the file C:\WindowsAzure\Resources\AMADataStore.<virtual-machine-name>\mcs\mcsconfig.lkg.xml exists. If it doesn't exist, file a ticket with Summary as 'AMA didn't run long enough to mark and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.
  3. Open the file and check if it contains Subscription nodes as shown in the example below:
     <Subscription eventName="c9302257006473204344_14882095577508259570" 
    query="System!*[System[(Level = 1 or Level = 2 or Level = 3)]]">
        <Column name="ProviderGuid" type="mt:wstr" defaultAssignment="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000">
          <Value>/Event/System/Provider/@Guid</Value>
        </Column>
     	...
    
        </Column>
    </Subscription>
    
    If there are no Subscription, nodes then the DCR wasn't parsed correctly. File a ticket with Summary as 'AMA unable to parse DCR config' and Problem type as 'I need help with Azure Monitor Windows Agent'.

File a ticket

  1. Open a data collection rule and select New Support Request from left menu OR open the 'Help + support' blade and select Create a support request
  2. Select
    • Issue Type: Technical
    • Subscription: Pick the subscription where your machines reside
    • Service type: Data Collection Rules (DCR) and Agent (AMA)
    • Is your issue related to a resource? Yes (Pick your machine using the resource picker pops up)
  3. Enter 'Summary' and 'Problem type' as indicated from troubleshooting steps. Accurate details will lead to faster resolution of the issue.
  4. Click 'Next' and review the recommended solutions to see if they help.
  5. If they do not help, click 'Next' and fill in the next set of details.
  6. Click 'Next', review final details and hit 'Create'.