Monday, 13th July 2020

Digital transformation with Azure

IT operations management updates bring new and expanded Azure support, helping tech pros better monitor, manage, and secure hybrid IT infrastructures and applications.

SolarWinds has introduced a wave of updates across its IT Operations Management offering, including the Orion® Platform suite of products, and its application performance management (APM) suite. This extends SolarWinds support for organisations investing in MicrosoftAzure® as their strategic digital transformation partner, and offers technology professionals the comprehensive ability to monitor, manage, and secure hybrid IT operations.


According to a survey of the SolarWinds THWACK® user community of over 150,000 registered members, over half (53 percent of respondents) use Azure, but many organisations are just beginning their migration journey. Most operate some applications or workloads in the cloud, but much of IT remains on-premises. This highlights the need for comprehensive, full-stack visibility across the entire hybrid IT environment, regardless of where an organisation is in its digital transformation journey.


As noted by Forrester®, users leverage cloud platforms to serve a wide range of functions[1], yielding enhanced productivity, security, and operations for tech pros.The latest portfolio updates are designed to help tech pros more effectively manage everything from cloud and hybrid IT infrastructures to commercial, custom, and SaaS applications, empowering them to see clearer, scale faster, and perform better.


“For 20 years, SolarWinds has helped tech pros navigate the challenges of highly performant environments, while avoiding the distractions of the hype cycle. Because of this strong legacy, we’re uniquely positioned to help these same tech pros as they embark on their journey to the cloud,” said Sandy Orlando, senior vice president, products, SolarWinds.


“Today’s tech pros require greater flexibility, enhanced security, and improved full-stack visibility to successfully manage the web of applications and workloads spanning on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, like Microsoft Azure,” she continued. “These new features and solution enhancements announced today reinforce our commitment to and focus on what matters most to customers: solving IT management problems the way tech pros need them solved and delivering solutions compatible with the environments they use today—and where they’ll grow tomorrow.”


Expanded full-stack visibility to optimize the performance of hybrid IT and Azure environments


To meet this important customer need, SolarWinds announced updates spanning both its SaaS-delivered APM suite, and the SolarWinds® Orion Platform, which scales to encompass monitoring of on-premises and cloud environments, including Microsoft Azure, with support for monitoring Azure IaaS (Windows® and Linux®) and PaaS services, as well as Office 365®:


  • AppOptics and Pingdom® (part of the SaaS-delivered APM suite): Included in AppOptics is the capability to monitor key Azure services and extends its support to provide powerful application performance monitoring with tracing and code-level troubleshooting for applications running on an Azure App Service. Combined with the integration between AppOptics and Loggly®, this extends its full-stack traces-to-logs support to provide comprehensive monitoring of Azure, applications running on Azure, and the logs created by those applications. Pingdom also extends support of Azure through the recently released Pingdom API 3.1, which makes it even easier to capture performance and availability data from Azure web applications.
  • Database Performance Analyzer (DPA): Adds new database performance analysis and recommendations for Azure SQL Database Managed Instances and adds support for the latest versions of popular databases including SQL Server® 2019, Oracle® 19, MariaDB® 10, and MySQL® 8.


  • Server Configuration Monitor (SCM): Provides animproved ability to monitor and alert on changes made within Windows systems running on Azure IaaS and adds support for detecting and tracking changes on Linux servers.
  • Orion Maps: Includes editing capabilities to deliver improved context and relevant visualizations with background images, and more.


  • SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD): Integrates with the Orion Platform for streamlined IT Service Management (ITSM) governance and workflow. This integration improves time-to-resolution by automatically creating IT incident tickets in SWSD when an Orion alert is triggered. 


  • Cost Calculator for Azure: Identifies total spend for cloud services across one or several Azure subscriptions as a free tool for tech pros.


Enhanced flexibility and deployment options


To ease customers’ public cloud migrations, SolarWinds and Microsoft have partnered to certify the Orion Platform and its modules for Azure, and make them available within the Azure Marketplace. SolarWinds has added support for Azure SQL Database Managed Instance as the Orion database, helping customers reduce management overhead and total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with traditional database deployments.


“SolarWinds customers can now enjoy the benefits of cloud when choosing Azure for their network and systems management products,” said Wisam Hirzalla, director product marketing for Azure at Microsoft. “We’re delighted to have SolarWinds enable customers run their IT operations solution in the Microsoft cloud."


With this support for running on Azure, SolarWinds empowers organisations with the deployment flexibility they need in today’s hybrid environments. Through the Azure Marketplace, customers can easily deploy the SolarWinds industry-leading2 systems and network management software on Azure in typically as little as 30 minutes, and existing customers can migrate on-premises deployments of the Orion Platform and its modules to Azure-deployed instances.


Broader ability to monitor and manage cloud and hybrid IT environments with security in mind


Digital transformation journeys typically require companies and tech pros to invest in multiple management consoles to maintain security across their entire hybrid IT environment. Included in this wave of updates are the latest versions of Security Event Manager and Access Rights Manager, helping simplify the process of creating a reliable security posture for tech pros:


  • Access Rights Manager (ARM): Delivers simplified provisioning of users to Azure Active Directory®, the hub of identity and access management for many applications like Office 365.


  • Security Event Manager (SEM): Modernized security monitoring platform to simplify assuring the security of your applications, servers, and infrastructure.
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