Microsoft Releases Azure Virtual Machine Connectivity Checker

The new Connectivity Check feature in Azure Network Watcher enables users to quickly diagnose network issues affecting their cloud applications.

Microsoft Azure

Getting to the bottom of connectivity issues affecting Azure virtual machines is now easier with a new diagnostics tool released by Microsoft.

Connectivity Check, a new feature in the Azure Network Watcher network performance and health monitoring service, helps users unearth issues that can affect their cloud applications. Customers can use the tool to determine if their virtual machines are having trouble connecting to other virtual machines, external endpoints or on-premises systems.

"The Azure Network Watcher Connectivity Check feature helps to drastically reduce the amount of time needed to find and detect connectivity issues in the infrastructure," blogged Abhishek Pathak, senior program manager of research and development at Microsoft Azure. "The results returned can provide valuable insights to whether a connectivity issue is due to a platform or a potential user configuration."

Found under Network Diagnostic Tools in Azure Network Watcher, Connectivity Check will return either reachable or unreachable status after a user selects a source and destination virtual machine. Destinations can be set using an IP address, a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or an Azure Resource Manager uniform resource identifier (URI). Included in the results are minimum, average and maximum latencies, along with the number of hops encountered along the way, explained Pathak.

In an example troubleshooting session for a multitier web application, Pathak showed in his blog post how Connectivity Check can help users quickly resolve misconfigurations and other causes of connectivity problems. Clicking on an unreachable virtual machine in this case, indicated by a red status icon, revealed a network security group rule that was blocking all traffic.

The new Connectivity Check feature in Azure Network Watcher is available now in preview.

For customers wanting to keep a closer eye on their cloud container environments, Microsoft also announced the general availability of its Container Monitoring Solution for the Azure Log Analytics service.

"We've added new features to provide better insights to your Kubernetes cluster," said Keiko Harada, program manager at Microsoft Azure Security and Management, in a separate blog post. "With the new features, you can more easily narrow down container issues within a Kubernetes cluster. Now you can use search filters on your own custom pod labels and Kubernetes cluster hierarchies."

Additionally, new container process information reporting capabilities allow users to quickly evaluate the status of a given process for deeper health analysis and insights. The features apply only to Linux, Harada noted, but Microsoft plans to flesh out the Windows side of the service soon.

Finally, Microsoft announced that its Azure Monitor, a cloud application and resource monitoring service, is now available to Azure Government customers. Apart from helping IT workers keep track of their cloud environments, the service's centralized logging and alerting capabilities can help agencies use the data generated by the solution to establish an audit trail and meet stringent U.S. government compliance regulations, said the cloud provider.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...