Service Map in Operations Management Suite: introduction to the solution

In an IT world that is increasingly heterogeneous and ever changing, with hybrid and distributed architectures with systems on-premises and in public cloud providers, is crucial to adopt solutions that manage operations, effectively monitor the entire environment and facilitate any troubleshooting tasks. Operations Management Suite (OMS) is IT management tool from Microsoft, designed in the era of cloud, that includes different solutions designed just for these purposes.

This article describes the main features of the solution Service Map present in Operations Management Suite (OMS) and it will indicate the procedure to be followed to configure Service Map and make the onboarding of the agents.

What is Service Map ?

Service Map is a solution that can be activated in OMS and it is able to automatically carry out the discovery of application components, on both Windows and Linux systems, and to create a map that shows almost real-time communications between the various services. All this allows you to view the servers as interconnected systems that deliver services. Service Map shows in detail the TCP connections that exist between the various systems, with the references of the processes involved in communications and related ports used. This allows you to determine and isolate any problems and to verify communication attempts that are attempted by various systems to detect any unwanted connections or problems in establishing communications needed. This solution is also useful when you must approach to cloud systems migration scenarios to consider all the connections needed for the proper functioning of the application, without neglecting any aspect.

Figure 1 -Example of schema generated by Service Map

Solution activation

By accessing the OMS portal you can easily add the solution Service Map, present in the gallery, by following the steps documented in the following article: Add Azure Log Analytics management solutions to your workspace (OMS).

Figure 2 - Addition of the solution Service Map

Enabling Service Map does not require specific configurations but you need to install on each system a specific agent called Microsoft Dependency Agent, which retrieves information required by the solution. The Microsoft Dependency Agent can only be installed on 64 bit platforms 64 and requires as a prerequisite the presence of the OMS agent . The Service Map Agent does not transmit any information directly into the OMS workspace and therefore is not required to open specific ports to the outside. Data to Service Map are always sent by the OMS agent, directly or through an OMS gateway:

Figure 3 – Data Communication of Service Map

When you activate Service Map in a OMS workspace, the management pack Microsoft. IntelligencePacks. ApplicationDependencyMonitor is sent to all Windows system present in the workspace.

Installation of the Microsoft Dependency Agent on Windows systems

The installation of the Microsoft Dependency Agent on Windows systems is done by invoking, with administrative privileges, the executable InstallDependencyAgent-Windows.exe which can be downloaded at this address. This executable provides the interactive installation using a Wizard or you can use the parameter /S to install the agent of Service Map in a completely silent way, useful if you want to activate it on multiple systems via scripts.

Installation of the Microsoft Dependency Agent on Linux systems

On Linux systems the installation of the Microsoft Dependency Agent takes place through the execution, with root permissions, of a shell script that is contained in the binary InstallDependencyAgent-Linux64.bin, which can be obtained by accessing this address. Also in this case there is the silent installation without user interaction, using parameter -s.

For systems on Azure, you can deploy the Microsoft Dependency Agent even through a specific Azure VM Extension. The extension is available for both Windows and Linux systems and the deploy can be done either via PowerShell scripts or via a JSON template in Azure Resource Manager mode (ARM).

To verify that the installation of the Service Map agent is completed successfully you can check that they are present and running the following components:

  • Service “Microsoft Dependency Agent” on Windows systems.
  • Daemon “microsoft-dependency-agent” on Linux machines.

The Microsoft Dependency Agent sends data through the OMS agent every 15 seconds and depending on the complexity of the environment each agent can transmit approximately 25 MB per day of information related to the Service Map solution. For the Service Map agent can be estimated a use of resources equal to 0,1 % of the system memory and the 0,1 % of the CPU of the system.

Notes and resources related to Service Map solution

How to use operationally Service Map is illustrated very well and in detail in this Microsoft Official Document. In addition to entering into the specifics of the Service Map functioning consult this article that shows the main features via a practice demo.

Service Map is currently only available in the following regions of Azure: East US, West Europe, West Central US and Southeast Asia.

Costs of the solution

Service Map is included in the package Insight & Analytics and the licensing may be covered in the free plan (up to a maximum of 5 Service Map systems) or takes place per node. For more information, please visit the page of the OMS pricing.

Conclusions

Service Map is a useful solution that can be used to improve the visibility of application flows, evaluate the impact of maintenance on individual systems and improve troubleshooting against fault. The Service Map activation is technically very simple and the added value provided by this solution is considerable, being able to consult at any time a completed and updated map of interconnection of systems, regardless of their geographical location.

Please note that you can test and evaluate for free Operations Management Suite (OMS) by accessing this page and selecting the mode you find most suitable for your needs.

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