Azure AD Monitoring Features Hit Prime Time
- By Kurt Mackie
- February 28, 2017
A pair of Azure Active Directory monitoring capabilities are now out of the preview stage.
Microsoft on Monday announced the general availability of Azure AD Connect Health for Windows Server AD Domain Services (ADDS) and Azure AD Connect Health Sync Error Reports. They are options in Azure AD Connect Health, which is a dashboard-like Web portal used for viewing alerts and performance stats. An Azure AD Premium subscription is required to use Azure AD Connect Health, which is part of the Azure portal.
The new Windows Server ADDS addition to the portal shows the health of domain controllers on "Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016," according to an Azure article. IT pros can have e-mail alerts sent to them for critical issues. They can also get graphic displays of performance data (Microsoft currently has 13 aspects that can be monitored). IT pros have to install the agent on all of the servers they want monitored to use this feature.
The Azure AD Connect Health Sync Error Reports capability, which is preconfigured within the Azure portal, provides alerts in a dashboard view and via e-mail. Errors such as duplicate file names and invalid characters sometimes occur when synchronizing between Windows Server AD and Azure AD. Users can view alerts for these errors and get additional information from within the dashboard. The data also can be pulled into a comma-separated value file for further analysis. The feature lets IT pros assess the amount of time it takes for synchronization. They can also see the number of changes exported to Azure AD, according to this Azure article. An Object Level Synchronization Error Report capability for Azure AD Connect is still at the preview level, though. It's possible to delegate access to the reports by non-global administrators.
Microsoft's announcement claimed that it has simplified the Azure AD Connect Health licensing. Microsoft took those steps after people complained about its complexity. In the new simplified licensing approach, One Azure AD Premium subscription is required to use the first Connect Health agent and "each additional agent requires 25 additional incremental AADP [Azure AD Premium] licenses," the announcement explained. Microsoft tallies the agent count based on the "the total number of agents registered per role" per server for Active Directory Federation Server, Azure AD Connect and ADDS.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.