Microsoft Releases Network HUD for Azure Stack HCI

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the release of Network HUD for Azure Stack HCI, which is designed to detect and address networking issues.

Network HUD is now available with the November product updates to Azure Stack HCI version 21H2 and version 22H2. It detects and can remediate operational networking issues on Azure Stack HCI, which is Microsoft "Azure in a box" product that lets organizations run Azure services on their own premises using certified hardware.

The "HUD" in Network HUD is undefined by Microsoft, but seems to be themed on the "heads-up display" aeronautics dashboards that pilots see. It pulls information from "event logs, performance counters, tooling like Pktmon, network traffic, and the physical network devices in real-time to identify issues before they happen," according to Dan Cuomo, a program manager on the Windows core networking team.

Network HUD will prevent operational networking problems in advance, or at least alert IT pros to them. It may also offer steps to fix the detected problems.

The sorts of issues that this version 1.0.0 of Network HUD can address includes:

  • Detection of PCIe bandwidth oversubscription
  • Detection of an unstable adapter that is frequently disconnecting
  • Detection of an unstable adapter that is frequently resetting
  • Detection of inbox drivers or out-of-date drivers
  • Detection of missing Network ATC intent types.

The detection of unstable adapters occurs in conjunction with Network ATC for Azure Stack HCI. Microsoft had announced the "general availability" release stage of Network ATC last month. Network ATC (which is undefined by Microsoft, but possibly alludes to "air traffic control") lets IT pros set configurations that apply to all nodes in a cluster.

IT pros can get alerts from Network HUD via the Windows Admin Center or Azure Portal interfaces. The main requirement to get such alerts appears to be configuring "Azure Insights for your Azure Stack HCI cluster" and setting up "action groups in the portal," per Cuomo's description.

Microsoft is touting Network HUD for its ability to get updates, like other Azure services. That capability will let Microsoft add more capabilities to it in the future.

Getting updates to Network HUD currently requires running "Update-Module -Name Az.Network.HUD "on each of the nodes in your cluster whenever new content updates are available," Cuomo explained. He added that Microsoft is planning to "improve this experience in the future."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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