Configure an Autoscale Alert on a VM Scale Set

Learn On Demand Pro Series

This IT Pro Challenge virtual lab the learner is tasked with provisioning cloud resources in Azure. One of the benefits of building cloud applications is the ability to auto-scale resources as the needs of the app rise or decline. The learner will demonstrate the ability to deploy virtual machine(VM) scale sets to provide a robust application solut...

1 hour
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Lab Overview:

An important job for Azure administrators is migrating on premise data centers to the cloud. Your first task will be to provide two proof of concepts to show the advantages of cloud deployments. The first will be a web server farm that provides high scalability and accessibility. In addition an app server farm will need to be set up along with alerts to notify admins of important scaling information.

Create an Azure virtual machine scale set for a web server farm:

A scale set is essentially a method of adding or subtracting computing resources based on the amount of total resources needed. In Azure this is done by setting the amount of VM to use and some metric that determines the threshold. A common measurement in the amount of CPU resources being used. A load balancer is used to determine which VM instance the traffic will be directed to, while the Public IP address is the common entry point for users. If done properly the user should never know that the scaling is taking place.

Create an Azure virtual machine scale set for a app server farm:

Another important concept in cloud computing is continuous development. This section shows a sample of this by requiring you to launch a template from Github in Azure. Connections between code development and resource allocation reduce the time for teams to deploy a project. It also gives the devops team more control over how the application will behave. Just as important as the ability to automatically launch an application in Azure is the ability to monitor the performance of the application. In this section you will learn how to create alerts that use email and SMS messages to let you know if your scale set rules are working as expected.

Create and test an Autoscale Alert:

Once the alert has been created it is time to activate the app. This is a functioning application that can be accessed over the internet at the given public IP and port number. Once the application is activated you can monitor the cpu usage on the resource dashboard. This is a very common way to make specific observations. But since admins usually run several apps at once it is not efficient. That is why you created the alert. Once the scaling threshold is reached the alert should be received. This type of alert is known as a threshold metric and will be a common method used not only in application development but also in security applications.

Lab Summary Conclusion:

Azure administrators have many more choices of application architecture than building on premises. One of the most beneficial is the ability to automatically scale the computing resources to fit the current needs. This provides maximum availability while saving resources during lower operating periods. Another benefit of using the cloud is the ability to have developers directly push their applications from repositories like Github to a functioning application. Though with such expansion in capability and dynamic functions it is important that the performance of these applications be watched closely. Azure provides its monitor platform to centralize alerts for various important metrics.