Microsoft Azure

Deploy an Azure Network Watcher Instance -- Preview

I am going to show you how to enable the preview Network Watcher functionality in your Azure subscription. I am also going to show you how to deploy a Network Watcher, which is the new network monitoring solution in Azure. This is an instance in an Azure region.



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Register the Provider

Network Watcher is still a preview feature and must be opted into on a per-subscription basis. If you want to try out or use Network Watcher, then you will need to enable the feature using PowerShell.

As usual with Azure PowerShell, you should do the following:

  1. Make sure you are running the latest version of the Azure PowerShell modules. Otherwise, strange errors might take place.
  2. Log into Azure Resource Manager using Login-AzureRMAccount.
  3. Select the appropriate subscription using Select-AzureRMSubscription.

You can start the registration process using the following two lines:

Register-AzureRmProviderFeature -FeatureName AllowNetworkWatcher -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

Register-AzureRmResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

The registration process can take a number of minutes. Go find something else to do. You can come back later and check progress by running:
Get-AzureRmProviderFeature -FeatureName AllowNetworkWatcher -ProviderNamespace  Microsoft.Network

Verifying the progress of the Network Watcher registration [Image Credit: Aidan Finn]
Verifying the Progress of the Network Watcher Registration [Image Credit: Aidan Finn]
The RegistrationState returned by the above command will change to “Registered” once the process completes successfully. At that point, you can move on to the next step.

Create a Network Watcher Instance

Log into the Azure Portal with your subscription administrator account. Browse to More Services > Network Watcher. The overview screen shows the current enablement status of Network Watcher for each enabled region in each of your subscriptions. At the time of writing this article, the preview release was only available in:

  • West US
  • North Central US
  • West Central US

The status of Network Watcher for each region in the subscription [Image Credit: Aidan Finn]
The Status of Network Watcher for Each Region in the Subscription [Image Credit: Aidan Finn]
To enable Network Watcher in a region, click the More button (…) for that region. After that, click Enable Network Watcher. This is a deployment that only takes a few seconds to complete. I enabled West US. A watcher resource called NetworkWatcher_westus was created in a resource group called NetworkWatcherRG. The names of the resource and resource group were automatically chosen by the deployment.

This resource is typical of all Azure resources. You can choose to enable role-based access control to limit access to Network Watcher.

You can return to the Overview to verify that the instance is enabled in the region. From there, you can continue to enable Network Watcher in each region.

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Aidan Finn, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), has been working in IT since 1996. He has worked as a consultant and administrator for the likes of Innofactor Norway, Amdahl DMR, Fujitsu, Barclays and Hypo Real Estate Bank International where he dealt with large and complex IT infrastructures and MicroWarehouse Ltd. where he worked with Microsoft partners in the small/medium business space.