Azure Enhanced Monitoring for SAP

As many of you saw in our announcement last week, several SAP applications are now certified to run in Azure Virtual Machines with more coming in near future. This is an exciting development for customers looking to run SAP applications in Azure and you can find more details here. In this blog I want to focus on the Azure Enhanced Monitoring solution for SAP that is required when you run SAP NetWeaver based systems on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. SAP systems are often the most critical applications that enterprises run in their IT environment and have very specific performance and availability requirements. Monitoring the performance of such applications then becomes a key requirement.

The Azure Enhanced Monitoring for SAP is the solution designed to meet this requirement. This solution is built on top of the recently released VM Agent and Extensions capability and contains two new extensions, 1) Windows Azure Diagnostics Extension: This extension allows you to collect diagnostic data such as OS and application performance counters from an Azure Virtual Machines. Users of Azure Cloud services should be familiar with Windows Azure Diagnostics and this extension is delivers the same functionality for Azure Virtual Machines 2) Azure Monitoring Extension for SAP: This is a special extension that consumes the diagnostic data collected by Windows Azure Diagnostic extension and few other data sources such as Azure Storage Analytics Metrics and transforms it into an aggregated data set appropriate for SAP Host control process to consume.

Azure enhanced monitoring for SAP

 

Enabling this solution in Azure Virtual Machines is quite easy. Here are the high level steps

  1. Make sure you have a computer that has Windows Azure Powershell v0.8.0 (or higher) installed
  2. As mentioned before this solution requires the VM Agent to be installed in the Azure Virtual Machines you want to run SAP systems. All Virtual Machines created using Azure Management portal or PowerShell using gallery images since Feb 2014 have VM Agent installed by default. If your Virtual Machine does not have the VM Agent installed, then you can easily download the VM Agent and install it yourself as described in section 4.4 in this document.
  3. Download and import the PowerShell cmdlets we specifically released to deploy Azure Enhanced Monitoring solution for SAP. Once imported, then simply run the PowerShell cmdlet ‘Update-VMConfigForSAP_GUI’. This interactive script will ask for the following input data:
    • Credentials for the Azure subscription,
    • The name of the virtual machine you want to update.
  4. Once you provide the input required in the previous step, within few minutes your VM has the Azure Enhanced Monitoring solution for SAP deployed and configured for use. Note that we have additional cmdlets available to check and troubleshoot the end to end solution setup in your Virtual Machine.

A very detailed Step by Step instructions on how you can deploy, check and troubleshoot common issues using this solution can be found here. To see the complete technical documentation for running SAP systems in Azure, please visit this page here. For any additional questions or feedback on these new extensions, please visit the MSDN thread linked here.