Configure data collection and cost optimization in Container insights using data collection rule

This article describes how to configure data collection in Container insights using the data collection rule (DCR) for your Kubernetes cluster. This includes preset configurations for optimizing your costs. A DCR is created when you onboard a cluster to Container insights. This DCR is used by the containerized agent to define data collection for the cluster.

The DCR is primarily used to configure data collection of performance and inventory data and to configure cost optimization.

Specific configuration you can perform with the DCR includes:

  • Enable/disable collection and namespace filtering for performance and inventory data.
  • Define collection interval for performance and inventory data
  • Enable/disable Syslog collection
  • Select log schema


Complete configuration of data collection in Container insights may require editing of both the DCR and the ConfigMap for the cluster since each method allows configuration of a different set of settings.

See Configure data collection in Container insights using ConfigMap for a list of settings and the process to configure data collection using ConfigMap. Customers should not delete or manually edit their DCR resource.


Configure data collection

The DCR that gets created when you enable Container insights is named MSCI-<cluster-region>-<cluster-name>. You can view it in the Azure portal by selecting the Data Collection Rules option in the Monitor menu in the Azure portal. Rather than directly modifying the DCR, you should use one of the methods described below to configure data collection. See Data collection parameters for details about the different available settings used by each method.


The default Container insights experience depends on all the existing data streams. Removing one or more of the default streams makes the Container insights experience unavailable, and you need to use other tools such as Grafana dashboards and log queries to analyze collected data.

You can use the Azure portal to enable cost optimization on your existing cluster after Container insights has been enabled, or you can enable Container insights on the cluster along with cost optimization.

  1. Select the cluster in the Azure portal.

  2. Select the Insights option in the Monitoring section of the menu.

  3. If Container insights has already been enabled on the cluster, select the Monitoring Settings button. If not, select Configure Azure Monitor and see Enable monitoring on your Kubernetes cluster with Azure Monitor for details on enabling monitoring.

    Screenshot of AKS cluster with monitor settings button.

  4. For AKS and Arc-enabled Kubernetes, select Use managed identity if you haven't yet migrated the cluster to managed identity authentication.

  5. Select one of the cost presets described in Cost presets.

    Screenshot that shows the onboarding options.

  6. If you want to customize the settings, click Edit collection settings. See Data collection parameters for details on each setting. For Collected data, see Collected data below.

    Screenshot that shows the collection settings options.

  7. Click Configure to save the settings.

Cost presets

When you use the Azure portal to configure cost optimization, you can select from the following preset configurations. You can select one of these or provide your own customized settings. By default, Container insights uses the Standard preset.

Cost preset Collection frequency Namespace filters Syslog collection Collected data
Standard 1 m None Not enabled All standard container insights tables
Cost-optimized 5 m Excludes kube-system, gatekeeper-system, azure-arc Not enabled All standard container insights tables
Syslog 1 m None Enabled by default All standard container insights tables
Logs and Events 1 m None Not enabled ContainerLog/ContainerLogV2

Collected data

The Collected data option allows you to select the tables that are populated for the cluster. This is the equivalent of the streams parameter when performing the configuration with CLI or ARM. If you select any option other than All (Default), the Container insights experience becomes unavailable, and you must use Grafana or other methods to analyze collected data.

Screenshot that shows the collected data options.

Grouping Tables Notes
All (Default) All standard container insights tables Required for enabling the default Container insights visualizations
Performance Perf, InsightsMetrics
Logs and events ContainerLog or ContainerLogV2, KubeEvents, KubePodInventory Recommended if you have enabled managed Prometheus metrics
Workloads, Deployments, and HPAs InsightsMetrics, KubePodInventory, KubeEvents, ContainerInventory, ContainerNodeInventory, KubeNodeInventory, KubeServices
Persistent Volumes InsightsMetrics, KubePVInventory

Data collection parameters

The following table describes the supported data collection settings and the name used for each for different onboarding options.

Name Description
Collection frequency
CLI: interval
ARM: dataCollectionInterval
Determines how often the agent collects data. Valid values are 1m - 30m in 1m intervals The default value is 1m. If the value is outside the allowed range, then it defaults to 1 m.
Namespace filtering
CLI: namespaceFilteringMode
ARM: namespaceFilteringModeForDataCollection
Include: Collects only data from the values in the namespaces field.
Exclude: Collects data from all namespaces except for the values in the namespaces field.
Off: Ignores any namespace selections and collect data on all namespaces.
Namespace filtering
CLI: namespaces
ARM: namespacesForDataCollection
Array of comma separated Kubernetes namespaces to collect inventory and perf data based on the namespaceFilteringMode.
For example, namespaces = ["kube-system", "default"] with an Include setting collects only these two namespaces. With an Exclude setting, the agent collects data from all other namespaces except for kube-system and default. With an Off setting, the agent collects data from all namespaces including kube-system and default. Invalid and unrecognized namespaces are ignored.
Enable ContainerLogV2
CLI: enableContainerLogV2
ARM: enableContainerLogV2
Boolean flag to enable ContainerLogV2 schema. If set to true, the stdout/stderr Logs are ingested to ContainerLogV2 table. If not, the container logs are ingested to ContainerLog table, unless otherwise specified in the ConfigMap. When specifying the individual streams, you must include the corresponding table for ContainerLog or ContainerLogV2.
Collected Data
CLI: streams
ARM: streams
An array of container insights table streams. See the supported streams above to table mapping.

Applicable tables and metrics

The settings for collection frequency and namespace filtering don't apply to all Container insights data. The following tables list the tables in the Log Analytics workspace used by Container insights and the metrics it collects along with the settings that apply to each.


This feature configures settings for all container insights tables except for ContainerLog and ContainerLogV2. To configure settings for these tables, update the ConfigMap described in agent data collection settings.

Table name Interval? Namespaces? Remarks
ContainerInventory Yes Yes
ContainerNodeInventory Yes No Data collection setting for namespaces isn't applicable since Kubernetes Node isn't a namespace scoped resource
KubeNodeInventory Yes No Data collection setting for namespaces isn't applicable Kubernetes Node isn't a namespace scoped resource
KubePodInventory Yes Yes
KubePVInventory Yes Yes
KubeServices Yes Yes
KubeEvents No Yes Data collection setting for interval isn't applicable for the Kubernetes Events
Perf Yes Yes Data collection setting for namespaces isn't applicable for the Kubernetes Node related metrics since the Kubernetes Node isn't a namespace scoped object.
InsightsMetrics Yes Yes Data collection settings are only applicable for the metrics collecting the following namespaces:, and
Metric namespace Interval? Namespaces? Remarks
Insights.container/nodes Yes No Node isn't a namespace scoped resource
Insights.container/pods Yes Yes
Insights.container/containers Yes Yes
Insights.container/persistentvolumes Yes Yes

Stream values

When you specify the tables to collect using CLI or ARM, you specify a stream name that corresponds to a particular table in the Log Analytics workspace. The following table lists the stream name for each table.


If you're familiar with the structure of a data collection rule, the stream names in this table are specified in the dataFlows section of the DCR.

Stream Container insights table
Microsoft-ContainerInventory ContainerInventory
Microsoft-ContainerLog ContainerLog
Microsoft-ContainerLogV2 ContainerLogV2
Microsoft-ContainerNodeInventory ContainerNodeInventory
Microsoft-InsightsMetrics InsightsMetrics
Microsoft-KubeEvents KubeEvents
Microsoft-KubeMonAgentEvents KubeMonAgentEvents
Microsoft-KubeNodeInventory KubeNodeInventory
Microsoft-KubePodInventory KubePodInventory
Microsoft-KubePVInventory KubePVInventory
Microsoft-KubeServices KubeServices
Microsoft-Perf Perf

Impact on visualizations and alerts

If you're currently using the above tables for other custom alerts or charts, then modifying your data collection settings might degrade those experiences. If you're excluding namespaces or reducing data collection frequency, review your existing alerts, dashboards, and workbooks using this data.

To scan for alerts that reference these tables, run the following Azure Resource Graph query:

| where type in~ ('microsoft.insights/scheduledqueryrules') and ['kind'] !in~ ('LogToMetric')
| extend severity = strcat("Sev", properties["severity"])
| extend enabled = tobool(properties["enabled"])
| where enabled in~ ('true')
| where tolower(properties["targetResourceTypes"]) matches regex 'microsoft.operationalinsights/workspaces($|/.*)?' or tolower(properties["targetResourceType"]) matches regex 'microsoft.operationalinsights/workspaces($|/.*)?' or tolower(properties["scopes"]) matches regex 'providers/microsoft.operationalinsights/workspaces($|/.*)?'
| where properties contains "Perf" or properties  contains "InsightsMetrics" or properties  contains "ContainerInventory" or properties  contains "ContainerNodeInventory" or properties  contains "KubeNodeInventory" or properties  contains"KubePodInventory" or properties  contains "KubePVInventory" or properties  contains "KubeServices" or properties  contains "KubeEvents" 
| project id,name,type,properties,enabled,severity,subscriptionId
| order by tolower(name) asc

Next steps