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Azure with Scott Guthrie: Custom Dashboards and Azure Monitor

| by Jeff Martin Follow 6 Followers on Aug 10, 2017. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

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InfoQ had the exclusive opportunity to speak with Microsoft executive vice president, Scott Guthrie, to discuss Microsoft Azure and his recent Red Shirt Dev Tours.  Today we will look at how Azure’s Custom Dashboards can help developers maximize their views into Azure’s operations and how the Azure Monitor provides advanced diagnostic and query abilities.

For each of these Azure components there is a short video snippet from Guthrie’s Red Shirt tour – edited to provide readers with just the information they need.  To guide us when viewing these videos, Guthrie joins InfoQ to provide greater context on the video presentations that demonstrate these concepts in action.

InfoQ:  Is there a statement you’d like to provide on what makes the Red Shirt Dev Tours unique? I.e something special about talking shop with developers on how to get the most out of Azure, that is different from other keynotes on where Azure is headed in the future?

Scott Guthrie:  You know – I love learning our products, getting hands on – this type of tour is something I’ve done since early in my career.  For me, the goal is to go deep on all the technology to help developers understand what they can use today to build apps using Azure.  It’s designed for developers who know Microsoft well and those who may not be as familiar with our tools and services – it’s a no-frills event for devs, hosted by a dev.  This last tour around Europe was awesome and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Custom Dashboards

InfoQ:  You mentioned that using only one dashboard means that you are not using it right.  Is there a base number of dashboards that is considered best practice?  Are there any key dashboards that a developer should always have? 

Guthrie:  We’ve designed everything to be customizable depending on the customer context.  The point to emphasize is flexibility. Some customers may decide to have one dashboard per each of their most relevant applications that combines access to key resources and metrics, as a customer myself, this is how I like to use it.  Other customers prefer to have multiple dashboards for the same application, with each one focusing on different aspects (for example, performance, key operation metrics, usage etc.). I’ve also met some customers who use dashboards to train or educate their own customers by providing a lesson as a dashboard combining our markdown tile with the other existing capabilities.

The other great thing is that dashboards can be private or shared. The shared ones are used on team environments and often displayed on a projection wall.  Many customers also use the private dashboards as a way to organize access to their resources and to have critical information front and center, resulting in their own personal productivity screen(s).

Rather than recommending a number of dashboards, I’d recommend customers take advantage of this platform capability that will vastly improve the experience and effectiveness of using Azure via UX!

Azure Monitor

InfoQ:  Video is pretty self-explanatory, but are there key takeaways a developer should receive after viewing this?

Guthrie:  The best call to action would be to try Azure Monitor!  There are a great set of services included in Azure Monitor that can help customers to operate and get insights on what is going on in their Azure resources and applications.  All these services are just one click away, as Azure Monitor is available in the default left services bar.  Azure Monitor components are also fully integrated with dashboards, so as a customer finds interesting and important information she can add it to a dashboard and have it front and center, and even share it with her team members!

INFOQ:  What recent new Azure features should developers check out?

Guthrie:  There are several, but here is a good list to start with:

A special thanks to Scott Guthrie for agreeing to participate.  We will return tomorrow for Part 2 on Azure’s Security Center.

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