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At work, I am using a few B-Series VMs in Azure. For what we use them for, they are mostly ok until recently. One of my VMs started to get sluggish and when checking, I could not see much wrong with it. The VM in question was running with the VM size Standard B4ms. This, by default, sets the baseline of the CPU performance to 90% and is allowed to burst to 400%.

With the B-Series VMs, you earn credits to allow you to burst when the VM is running below its base performance level. So in my case less than 90%. You then use the credits when the server needs to burst. In my case, I had run out of credits so my server was running at its baseline.

Below I am going to show you how to monitor the remaining credits using Azure Monitor and then pin the graph to an Azure Dashboard all using the Azure Portal.

Lets get to it!

Prerequisites

  • A list of all your B-Series VMs and what resource group they are in.
  • A Dashboard Created and selected (opened). This Dashboard will be the one the graph is pinned to.

Configuration time

Open up the Azure Portal and navigate to Monitor.

In the Monitor blade click on Metrics.

In this blade, you will see a box near the middle asking about Subscription, Resource Group, and, Resource type.

Click on the Subscription drop down if you need to change Subscription. Then click on Resource group. Here you can start to type the resource group that your B-Series VM resides in. Once found put a tick in the box.

Now you will have a list of resources that reside in the selected resource group. Find the burstable VM and click it.

Next, we have to select the metric we want to measure. You do this by clicking Metric and then select CPU Credits Remaining. You could also select CPU Credits Consumed. This metric will show you how many credits your VM has consumed.

You should now have a nice line showing you how many credits the VM has remaining. To add more VMs to this chart you have to click the Add metric button and then repeat the steps above.

Once you have all of your VMs added to the chart you can then pin it to an Azure Dashboard.

Pinning to a Dashboard

This bit actually really easy. You may have noticed the pin icon already, and yes, it really is as simple as clicking the pin. But before you pin the chart to a dashboard, you can give it a nice title. To do that click on the cog.

Here you can click on the Custom button and then type the name you would like to use.

Click the X to save the changes and then click the Pin to pin it to your Dashboard.

A purple bar will appear at the top of the Azure portal. Click the button to view the Dashboard.

Move your chart around till you are happy and then save it.

That’s all there is to it. You now have a nice chart showing you at a glance how many credits you Azure B-Series VMs have left. You can also create alerts when the credits are running low. I may do another article on how to set this up, but you may be able to work it out easy. Hint, you use Alerts in the Monitor blade.

I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions or comments please reach out using the usual methods.

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Pixel Robots.

I’m Richard Hooper aka Pixel Robots. I started this blog in 2016 for a couple reasons. The first reason was basically just a place for me to store my step by step guides, troubleshooting guides and just plain ideas about being a sysadmin. The second reason was to share what I have learned and found out with other people like me. Hopefully, you can find something useful on the site.

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