What is: sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com?


What is: sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com?

As of late I have been paying closer attention to my firewall logs in an effort to increase security but most importantly reduce the lag time we sometimes face when accessing the Internet. Having efficient rules allow for traffic to move more quickly through the firewall and in this case, examining denied connections reveal recurring attempts of what could be valid and acceptable traffic. Such is the case of sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com.

The site sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com exposes the web services protocol known as Software Quality Metrics (SQM) from Microsoft. It is used by Windows applications to recollect telemetry data (product usage and failure information). Applications also use this site to download information specifying what instrumentation data needs to be uploaded as determined by the application developer.

Below is more information obtained from the Microsoft MSDN site:

The Software Quality Metrics (SQM) Client-to-Service Version 2 Protocol defines how a SQM-enabled client sends instrumentation data to the SQM service. The protocol specifies the data transfer method, which includes an instrumentation namespace identifier and binary structured instrumentation data.

The SQM instrumentation data provided by SQM-enabled clients allows application developers to understand product usage and failure information in order to improve their products. Each SQM-enabled client belongs to a SQM namespace known as a SQM partner. All SQM data is associated with a SQM partner namespace in the SQM service.

The structure and method of transferring the data from the SQM-enabled client to the SQM service is defined by the SQM Client-to-Service Version 2 Protocol. The method of creating the SQM instrumentation data definition is SQM service implementation-specific.

The SQM Client-to-Service Version 2 Protocol also defines a method for a SQM-enabled client to download SQM partner-specific information. Typically this information is used by the SQM-enabled client to control what instrumentation data is uploaded. This functionality is known as Adaptive Software Quality Metrics (A-SQM). A-SQM data is created at the SQM service by the SQM-enabled client application owner if the SQM partner wants to download and use this functionality. The method of creating the A-SQM data is SQM service implementation-specific.

The SQM Client-to-Service Version 2 Protocol provides the following communication:

  • Uploading instrumentation data from the client to the SQM service.

  • Uploading instrumentation data through a proxy (relay) to the SQM service.

  • Downloading A-SQM data created at the SQM service.

The client receives a resource response as specified in section 2.2.3.6.3. The SQM client compares the version (ver) number in the rsrc command against the current client version number. If the version numbers are not equal, the SQM client downloads the A-SQM manifest described in the response.

The SQM client forms an HTTP(S) GET path by concatenating the path argument (as specified in section 2.2.3.6.3) from the command response message. The form is shown in the following example, where %PATH% is replaced with the value specified in the path argument.

https://sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com/%PATH%

The client downloads the resource file by using HTTP(S) GET. The resource is described in [MS-SQMCS] section 2.2.6.

 

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