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Contoso.se

Welcome to contoso.se! My name is Anders Bengtsson and this is my blog about Azure infrastructure and system management. I am a senior engineer in the FastTrack for Azure team, part of Azure Engineering, at Microsoft.  Contoso.se has two main purposes, first as a platform to share information with the community and the second as a notebook for myself.

Everything you read here is my own personal opinion and any code is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties.

Anders Bengtsson

MVP
MVP awarded 2007,2008,2009,2010

My Books
Service Manager Unleashed
Service Manager Unleashed
Orchestrator Unleashed
Orchestrator 2012 Unleashed
OMS
Inside the Microsoft Operations Management Suite

Highlight a couple of workbook features

Workbooks provide a flexible canvas for data analysis and the creation of rich visual reports within the Azure portal. They allow you to tap into multiple data sources from across Azure and combine them into unified interactive experiences. Read more at the source, Microsoft Docs.

Vanessa and I have put together a workbook to visually report on computers missing updates. This can be done with Kusto queries in Log Analytics. Still, with workbooks, you can visualize it in a better way and make this visualization available to colleagues. It is also easier for someone without Kusto and Log Analytic knowledge to run a workbook.

In this example, we have to build a workbook that first lists all computers that are missing an update. We can see the computer name and the number of missing updates in the first view. If we select one of the servers, a new table is visualized, with detailed information for that computer, showing which updates that are missing. If we choose one of the updates, we get an additional table showing other computers missing the same update.

We would like to highlight some of the features used in the workbook that can be handy to know about when building workbooks.

To pass a value between queries inside the workbook, we can configure to export parameters per query item. This is set under Advanced Settings. In this example, the Computer column will be exported. To use this value in a query use {Computer}, for example

Update
| where TimeGenerated > now(-1d)
| where UpdateState == “Needed”
| where computer == “{Computer}”
| project TimeGenerated, Title, Classification, PublishedDate, Product, RebootBehavior, UpdateID
| sort by Product

Under Advanced Settings, you can also configure how to handle no data scenario. In this example, if no computers are missing updates, there will be a text saying, “Great! No servers missing updates!”.

Another handy setting is column settings. With column settings, you can, for example, rename a column in the workbook. In this example, we rename column “count_” to “# missing updates”.

The last feature we want to highlight is conditionally visible. Conditionally visible control when a query item is visible. In this example, the previous query item is not visualized until the user selects an update in the last query item. The UpdateID is exported as a parameter for the rest of the workbook.

Visualize Service Map data in a workbook

Service Map is a feature in Azure Monitor to automatically discovers communication between applications on both Windows and Linux servers. Service Map visualize collected data in a service map, with servers, processes, inbound and outbound connection latency, and ports across any TCP-connected architecture — more information about Service Map at Microsoft Docs.


The default Service Map view is very useful in many scenarios, but there is, from time to time, a need for creating custom views and reports based on the Service Map data. Custom views and reports are created with Kusto queries and workbooks. In this blog post, we will look at some examples of a visualize Service map data in a workbook.


One of the main reasons you may want to create customer workbooks based on Service Map data is that the default Service Map view only shows one hour of data, even if more data is collected.


Below is an image of Service Map, used in VM Insight. In the figure, you can see Windows server DC00 in the center and all processes on the server that communicates on the network. On the right side of the figure, we can see servers that DC00 communicates with, grouped on network ports. It is possible to select another server, for example, DC11, and see which process on DC11 communicating with the process on DC00.

All service map data is stored in two different tables, VMproccess and VMConnection. VMComputer has inventory data for servers. VMprocess has inventory data for TCP-connected processes on servers.

Here are a few sample queries to get you started.

To list all machines that have inbound communication on port 80 last week

VMConnection
| where DestinationPort == "80"
| where Direction == "inbound"
| where TimeGenerated > now(-7d)
| distinct Computer

To list unique processes on a virtual machine, for last week

VMProcess
| where Computer == "DC21.NA.contosohotels.com"
| where TimeGenerated > now(-7d)
| summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, DisplayName, Description, Computer) by ExecutableName

To list all unique communication for a server, for last week

VMProcess
|VMConnection
| where Computer == "DC21.NA.contosohotels.com" 
| where TimeGenerated > now(-7d)
| summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, Computer, Direction, ProcessName) by RemoteIp, DestinationPort  

To list all communication between two IP addresses

VMConnection
| where (SourceIp == "10.1.2.20" or SourceIp == "10.3.1.20") and (DestinationIp == "10.1.2.20" or DestinationIp == "10.3.1.20")
| where TimeGenerated > now(-7d)
| summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, SourceIp, DestinationIp, Direction, ProcessName) by DestinationPort

With workbooks, you can create dynamic reports to visualize collected data. This is very useful in migration scenarios when building network traffic rules or needs to see dependencies between servers quickly. The picture below shows an example Workbook (download here) showing all traffic for a specific server and a summary (total MB) of network traffic per network port.