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Microsoft Previews Azure ExpressRoute Monitoring

Microsoft announced a preview of a new Azure ExpressRoute monitoring capability last week.

Azure ExpressRoute is Microsoft's high-bandwidth low-latency service for establishing private Internet connections to Azure services. The connections get enabled by Microsoft's partners, which are known as "exchange service providers" or "network service providers." This month, Microsoft added a new way for its ExpressRoute customers to monitor these connections using Network Performance Monitor, which is part of Microsoft's Operations Management Suite.

Essentially, Microsoft added the ExpressRoute monitoring capability to Network Performance Monitor. It's currently available at the preview stage in Azure West Central US and West Europe regions, and it's likely available as a preview in the Eastern US and Southeast Asia regions, too. Users have to sign up for the preview via a link in Microsoft's announcement.

Network Performance Monitor, commercially released in February, was designed to check the performance of applications, both on premises and in the cloud, by executing so-called "synthetic transactions" to check for latency and packet loss. Microsoft has now extended Network Performance Monitor to check Azure ExpressRoute connections, too.

The monitoring tool shows where there are performance degradations in ExpressRoute connections. It shows network latency and packet loss, as well as the bandwidth use between the primary and secondary connections. The new tool includes "built-in diagnostics" to detect downtime. Users can also set up their own alerts for "loss, latency and bandwidth utilization on a per VNET basis."

To use the preview, organizations need to create a workspace and install some software agents. The details are described in this document.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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