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All systems require a degree of monitoring. We monitor on premise installations for usage, performance, outages, tracing, and for a multitude of other reasons. Services which are deployed on premise operate in a controlled environment. The organisation’s IT team is very much aware of what systems are running on the organisation’s servers. It is an environment which can be managed by the organisation’s own IT team. On the contrary cloud environments tend to be disruptive by nature. Thus in cloud environments monitoring is crucial.

In this article we will walk through the steps required to :

  • configure a Windows Azure application  for the gathering of data for diagnostic purposes;
  • configure the application to persist the gathered data in a Windows Azure Storage Account;
  • read the data and post to your Monitis Account.

Configure the Diagnostic Monitor from within an Windows Azure Role.

As depicted in Figure 1 below a Diagnostic Monitor is associated with each Windows Azure Role. By default the Diagnostic Monitor will gather trace logs, infrastructure logs, and IIS logs. The diagnostic data is stored in the local storage of the Windows Azure Instance. Local storage is not persistent across deployments of an application. Thus the diagnostic data should be moved to persistent storage such as the Windows Azure Storage Account to be accessed at will. We will give examples below.

Figure 1 – Windows Azure Role

For the purpose of this example we will create a simple Windows Azure Application within Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

Step 1 – Create a Windows Azure Project using C#.

Select Cloud from the list of installed templates.

Figure 2 – Create a Windows Azure Project

Step 2 – Select ASP.Net Web Role

Figure 3 – Select ASP.NET Web Role

Step 3 – Rename the Web Role to MonitisWebRole1

By default the project will contain a Web Role. A Web Role can be used to deliver the user interface elements of an application. Rename WebRole1 to MonitisWebRole1.

Figure 4 – A default project has been created. Note that the project contains 1 Web Role

The renamed Web Role is displayed below

Figure 5 – Web Role has been renamed

More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of PicsArt, Inc.,

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