AzureWatch is now over four years old and is a little... dated. In order to keep up with our customers' needs and with innovations in Azure, we recently introduced a brand new monitoring product designed to replace AzureWatch. The product is called CloudMonix and it is available at http://cloudmonix.com. CloudMonix enhances Microsoft Azure by providing deep monitoring of most of Azure's infrastructure via live dashboards, ability to self-heal from many different production issues, on-demand historical performance and uptime reports, customizable alerts & notifications, sophisticated auto-scaling engine, integration to third party systems, and a lot more. CloudMonix is not yet available in Azure Marketplace.
Five years ago, I set out on a journey to help Azure developers auto-scale their Azure systems. AzureWatch, a product that I built for that purpose, was originally a Windows desktop application that allowed users to dynamically scale their Web and Worker roles with demand - a feature that Windows Azure lacked back in the day.
Over the years, AzureWatch was continually enhanced to meet ever-growing customer needs. As my team grew with the customer base, so did AzureWatch's feature set. We migrated AzureWatch from a desktop app to a fully hosted cloud solution. We added monitoring capabilities and live dashboards. AzureWatch was enhanced to monitor SQL Azure, Storage, Websites and Virtual Machines. Unfortunately, with each iteration of changes and features, we twisted and adopted AzureWatch to do something it was never meant to. Ongoing maintenance became hard and time to innovate long.
As market conditions changed and need for auto-scaling decreased, due to basic auto-scaling features being introduced in Azure core platform, it was obvious that we needed to offer customers something more substantial and special. After looking thru the backlog of customer requests, a few patterns clearly emerged, where we saw that we could add a ton of value
- Very fast onboarding and intuitive UI. No one has time to learn complex systems that don't work from the get-go
- Deep insight into all levels of technical stack, not just servers. Cloud platforms offer many useful services and they all need to be considered in the overall health of a production system
- Automatic self-healing. While healing procedures are usually simple to script out (reboot server, restart service, clear cache, recycle app pool, truncate table, etc.), knowing WHEN to execute these procedures can be really challenging.
- Ability to compare & contrast performance, uptime, and other metrics over time.
- Provide value not just for Azure but other cloud systems for shops that manage or utilize different cloud platforms
Taking into account that AzureWatch's back-end needed to be re-architected to become much more adaptive at monitoring new and different systems and AzureWatch's front-end UI needed a lot of work to become user-friendly, the decision to re-architect the whole product became a no-brainer. So, in summer of 2014, we set out on a journey to re-invent ourselves and provide a new kind of SaaS service: "Stability-as-a-Service" to cloud production environments with a delightful user experience and backed by our amazing support.
Fast-forward to today. We delivered and in some ways over-delivered on all of our goals with the release of CloudMonix in March of 2015. All lessons learnt in the years of maintaining AzureWatch came in handy. CloudMonix has automatic self-healing and enhanced auto-scaling engines; amazing and responsive UI; ability to integrate with other 3rd party systems; future support for public API, data-region affinity; in-depth monitoring of a number of popular Azure services and ability to develop others very quickly. There is more, much more. With a few known exceptions, CloudMonix far exceeds AzureWatch in features and functionality from the get-go and continues to evolve and expand very quickly.
I invite you experience CloudMonix for yourself at http://cloudmonix.com and tell us what you think.
Microsoft Azure Insider