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HealthCheck for Azure Frequently Asked Questions

Last Update: 12/2/2016 8:10 AM

​​​​​​​​​HealthCheck for Azure Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

What data streams does HealthCheck for Azure support?
HealthCheck for Azure supports VMware ESX/ESXi environments through vCenter, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Windows and Linux physical servers.

What are the options for HealthCheck for Azure data hosting?
HealthCheck for Azure supp​orts data hosted in Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. All are SSAE-16 compliant vendors.

Which Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers does HealthCheck for Azure support?
HealthCheck for Azure supports Microsoft Azure.

When the Agent is installed, is it a lightweight service or a full application?
The agent is a lightweight service that is installed on every machine within the assessment scope. No applications are installed.

Does HealthCheck for Azure identify SQL databases that are compatible with the Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering of SQL, instead of offering SQL server in Azure IaaS?
HealthCheck for Azure identifies SQL databases that are compatible with the PaaS offering of SQL, and lists the cost in a separate column of the assessment report.

Where is the data collected for the HealthCheck for Azure assessment stored?
HealthCheck for Azure data is stored in Microsoft Azure, which is an SSAE-16 compliant vendor.

What security measures are in place while data is in flight?
HealthCheck for Azure uses SSL (port 443) and SSH (port 22) for tranfering data into HealthCheck for Azure servers. Customers access the data via HTTPS. Note, too, that in-flight data is encrypted for added security.​

Does the HealthCheck for Azure Agent collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?​​
HealthCheck for Azure does not collect PII, Protected Health Information (PHI), or Payment Card Industry (PCI) information.

What data is collected by HealthCheck for Azure?
There is a large set of data collected by HealthCheck for Azure, such as processor manufacturer, memory size, disk size, operating system details, etc. For a detailed list of the data collected by HealthCheck for Azure, read KB005344: What data is collected by the HealthCheck for Azure Agent? and KB005346: What data is collected from VMWare vCenter by HealthCheck for Azure?

Are there applications that HealthCheck for Azure does not include in its assessment?
Yes. Some applications are excluded from the assessment because they most likely create noise in the assessment reports. However, you can manually re-enable these applications. For a list of excluded applications, and for guidance on manually re-enabling one or more, see What applications are not captured in a HealthCheck for Azure assessment?​ (KB005821)​.​

Why is the Workload Pay-as-you-go plan (right-sizing) costlier than the lift-and-shift?
This happens when the existing infrastructure is seriously bottlenecked.  "Right-sized" means the infrastructure is configured to meet the 90th percentile of workload requirements. We have examples where the right-sized approach was twice the cost of the lift-and-shift approach. When we encounter this, we need to make sure the customer understands that not moving to Azure means there are issues to address in the existing data centers.  Once explained, the customer typically sees the value of HealthCheck for Azure and moves to the cloud.

How does HealthCheck for Azure handle SQL Azure IaaS?

HealthCheck for Azure assumes that if you have SQL Server on-premises, that you will move it to SQL Azure.  This means that the hourly cost will include the cost of SQL Enterprise (or whatever version the customer has today).  As part of the assessment report results, there is a column on the servers listing "Additional Platform Costs."  This is where those costs are listed. If the customer has an existing SQL Server license as part of an enterprise agreement, they can simply spin up a normal VM and install SQL Server on the VM.  If that's the case, you can subtract those SQL Azure costs.

How does HealthCheck for Azure handle networking costs?

HealthCheck for Azure​ assumes that all network traffic that leaves a server is egress traffic.  Egress traffic is charged at a rate of ~$0.12/GB, so these charges can get quite expensive.  Note that if you move all servers to the cloud, then the majority of the intra-server traffic will not be egress.  But, if you just move a few of the servers, then most of the traffic will be egress. 

Is the data collected by HealthCheck for Azure encrypted?
Yes. Performance data is encrypted in transit over SSL/TLS. Performance data is not encrypted in the database.

What security is used when the HealthCheck for Azure data is transmitted?
SSL (port 443) and SSH (port 22) are used to transfer data into HealthCheck for Azure servers. Customers access the data via HTTPS.

Does HealthCheck for Azure support migration to Azure Australia?
Yes. Australia is supported and included in the infrastructure region when setting up your HealthCheck for Azure.

How do I install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent?
Read these Knowledge Base articles specific to your customer's environment:

How do I install HealthCheck for Azure, in a hosted environment where I have no access to the host?

The agents can be installed on each Virtual Machine (VM), and no installation is required on the host. The VMs will automatically appear under "Physical Infrastructure" within settings.

In which directories are the HealthCheck for Azure Agent installed?
On Windows, the agent is installed to these directories:

  • 32-bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\Cloudamize
  • 64-bit: C:\Program Files\Cloudamize

On Linux, the agent must be installed as "root" to this directory: /usr/local/cloudamize

The directories contain these files: CloudamizeAgent.exe, CloudamizeWatchdog.exe, and Utility.dll

How do I uninstall the HealthCheck for Azure agent?
The steps to uninstall the agent are different depending on the operating system you're using. Read the Knowledge Base articles listed below for information about uninstalling the HealthCheck for Azure:

You can also disable the HealthCheck for Azure Agent by signing into the HealthCheck for Azure Dashboard and toggling the desired agents to Disabled.

 

VMware Environment

Does HealthCheck for Azure support standalone ESXi?
No. HealthCheck for Azure only supports ESXi through vCenter. Visit the VMware vSphere Product Evaluation Center to download a free 60-day trial of VMWare.

What do I need to configure a VMware ESX Environment for HealthCheck for Azure?
You need to give HealthCheck for Azure read-only access to your vCenter. For more information, read KB005326: How do I install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on a Public VMware vCenter machine?

How does HealthCheck for Azure transmit data if I have a vCenter that is not accessible by Internet?
HealthCheck for Azure provides a proxy that connects to vCenter on one side and the HealthCheck for Azure servers on the other side to forward the data to the HealthCheck for Azure servers. For more information, read KB005325: How do I install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on a Private VMware vCenter machine?

Do I have to install the HealthCheck for Azure proxy on the vCenter host?
No. You can install the HealthCheck for Azure proxy on the vCenter host or any other Windows virtual machine (VM) that has access to Internet, as well as the vCenter host.

What ports does the HealthCheck for Azure proxy use?
The HealthCheck for Azure proxy connects to vCenter on SSL (port 443) and the HealthCheck for Azure servers on port 80.

Do I need to install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on individual VMs?
There is no need to install the agent on individual VMs if you are purchasing the Assessment package only. If you are purchasing the Assessment and Plan package, we recommend installing the HealthCheck for Azure Agent everywhere in your infrastructure, even if you only want to do an analysis of a subset of your infrastructure. This allows HealthCheck for Azure to build the entire topology, and better guide you in your migration.

How much bandwidth is used when the data is transported from the vCenter?
Approximately 40KB per hour.

What is the performance overhead of collecting data from the vCenter?
The vCenter is already collecting the data. HealthCheck for Azure reads the collected data and sends it to the HealthCheck for Azure servers.

Do I still need to provide read-only credentials to vCenter?
Yes. This allows HealthCheck for Azure to get basic inventory and performance-related data.

Why do I need the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on VMs?
By installing the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on VMs we are able to collect data around application interconnectivity and build out topology for you.

Is there a way to install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on all the VMs via script or some other method?
Yes. The HealthCheck for Azure vCenter Agent Installer allows you to push out the HealthCheck for Azure Agent and install them on the VMs via vCenter.

 

Hyper-V Environment

What is the performance overhead of running agent on a Hyper-V host?
The HealthCheck for Azure Agent is lightweight. It typically requires less than 0.5% CPU utilization. The agent is a Smart Agent that runs two processes: one is the data collection process, and the other is the watchdog process. The watchdog process monitors the data collection process and makes sure data collection is behaving correctly. The watchdog process monitors every system metric and caps the data collection if it goes beyond expected consumption. If any of the metrics are higher than the cap, then the data collection process sleeps and waits until it can start collecting again. For example, the agent takes less than 0.5% CPU utilization. However, if CPU utilization goes higher than 2%, the data collection process goes to sleep and waits for the watchdog process to confirm when to start data collection again.

Do I need to install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on individual VMs?
There is no need to install the agent on individual VMs if you are purchasing the Assessment package only. If you are purchasing the Assessment and Plan packages together, we recommend installing the HealthCheck for Azure Agent everywhere in your infrastructure, even if you only want to do an analysis of a subset of your infrastructure. This allows HealthCheck for Azure to build the entire topology and better guide you in your migration.

When can I expect initial visibility of VMs when deploying the Agent for a Hyper-V assessment?

You should allow at least 24 hours for all of the VMs in a hypervisor environment to become visible when you are configuring an assessment. You can then reliably disable VMs that you do not wish to include in the scope of the project so you are not assessed the cost of those ​licenses. Note, too, that if you decide to remove the Agent from the hypervisor, it can take up to 24 hours to disappear.

​Why do I need the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on VMs?
By installing the HealthCheck for Azure Agent on VMs, we are able to collect data around application interconnectivity and build out topology for you.

 

Physical Servers

Is the HealthCheck for Azure Agent required for physical servers?
The HealthCheck for Azure Agent is required for all physical servers. There is no agentless method for physical servers.

What specific information does the HealthCheck for Azure Agent collect?

The HealthCheck for Azure Agent collects system and application-related performance and usage metrics such as CPU, memory, disk, network and running applications.

How does the HealthCheck for Azure Agent connect to the HealthCheck for Azure servers?
The HealthCheck for Azure Agent sends data to the HealthCheck for Azure servers over SSL (port 443).

Do I need to open firewall to send data to the HealthCheck for Azure servers?
Yes. The HealthCheck for Azure Agent sends data to the HealthCheck for Azure servers over SSL (port 443). Make sure that the outbound SSL (port 443) access is permitted to the HealthCheck for Azure servers. You will not need to open firewall access if you are using Internet proxy.

What if my physical servers do not have direct access to the Internet?
If your physical servers have Internet proxy access, the HealthCheck for Azure Agent will still be able to relay data through your Internet proxy to the HealthCheck for Azure servers.

Is there a proxy available to forward data from the physical machines that are not directly accessible by the Internet?
No. There is no proxy available to forward data from the physical machines that are not directly accessible by the Internet.

Is the HealthCheck for Azure Agent a standalone executable (i.e., libc) or does it need to have Java or another framework preinstalled?
For Windows servers and VMs, the HealthCheck for Azure Agent requires .NET framework 4.6.1 or later. For Linux server hosts and VMs, the HealthCheck for Azure Agent is a standalone binary executable.

What is the performance overhead of running the HealthCheck for Azure agent on physical servers?
The HealthCheck for Azure Agent is lightweight. It typically requires less than 0.5% CPU utilization. The agent is a Smart Agent that runs two processes: one is the data collection process, and the other is the watchdog process. The watchdog process monitors the data collection process and makes sure data collection is behaving correctly. The watchdog process monitors every system metric and caps the data collection if it goes beyond expected consumption. If any of the metrics are higher than the cap, then the data collection process sleeps and waits until it can start collecting again. For example, the agent takes less than 0.5% CPU utilization. However, if CPU utilization goes higher than 2%, the data collection process goes to sleep and waits for the watchdog process to confirm when to start data collection again.

What is the data collection frequency?
The HealthCheck for Azure Agent collects data every 30 seconds, and pushes it out to the HealthCheck for Azure servers every five minutes.

Can the HealthCheck for Azure Agents be installed on VMs without also collecting data from the hypervisor, such as vCenter or the Hyper-V host machine?
Most performance metrics can be collected from the agent even when the agent is running on a VM and no data is being collected from vCenter. However, there can be some inaccuracy when estimating the CPU utilization. This inaccuracy can lead to an overestimation of the required computational needs, and can result in the HealthCheck for Azure assessment recommending a larger machine than necessary. However, this is only an issue when the physical server is under-provisioned. In any case, memory and IO requirements are estimated correctly. To understand the issue, suppose that two VMs are running on a physical server that has a single CPU with a single one-hardware thread. If both VMs are demanding the entire CPU, the hypervisor will allocate 50% of the compute time to each VM. However, from the perspective of the VM and our agent on the VM, the CPU is 100% utilized. Since the agent sees the CPU 100% utilized, while the CPU is actually only 50% utilized, the HealthCheck for Azure Agent will overestimate the computational requirements of the VMs. If this scenario occurs frequently, it could lead the HealthCheck for Azure assessment to recommended a larger machine than is necessary. On the other hand, if CPU utilization data is collected from the hypervisor, then the actual CPU utilization is measured and an accurate estimate of compute requirements is made.

How much bandwidth is used when the data is transported from the HealthCheck for Azure Agent?
Windows/Linux agents are approximately 5KB to 40KB per 10 minutes.

Can I import the data rather than run the HealthCheck for Azure Agent?
No. HealthCheck for Azure reads data from vCenter's read-only APIs. For non-VMWare environment, the HealthCheck for Azure Agent can be installed for data collection and can be uninstalled after the data collection period is completed.

Where should I install the HealthCheck for Azure Agent?
For the Assessment package only, there is no need to install the agent on individual VMs. If you are purchasing the Assessment and Plan package together, we recommend installing the HealthCheck for Azure Agent everywhere in your infrastructure, even if you only want to do an analysis of a subset of your infrastructure. This allows HealthCheck for Azure to build the entire topology and better guide you in your migration.