Advanced Azure application and server monitoring


Advanced Azure application and server monitoring

Cloud hosting services like Microsoft Azure provide many advantages, including ease of use, scalability, platform-as-a-service features, and more, But it also creates some unique challenges.

Retrace gives you confidence that your application is working and your customers are happy

If you are deploying a new application to Microsoft Azure and you aren't sure how it is going to perform, Retrace can help. Retrace's powerful, cloud-based monitoring capabilities support Azure App Services, Web & Worker Roles, Azure Service Bus and Storage queues, VMs, applications, databases, and more.

Monitor, detect and resolve all your applications issues with one tool. Retrace provides development teams with the visibility, data, and actionable insights you want and need, from any environment.

Retrace works perfectly with multiple Azure deployment options
You can use Retrace to track all of your applications across all of your deployments, no matter where they are. Retrace works with Microsoft Azure, AWS, and traditional physical or virtual server hosting.

Azure Monitor supports:

Azure virtual machines

Traditional monitoring tools work fine with Azure virtual machines, including common monitoring tools like Nagios, SCOM, SolarWinds, Retrace and other common tools. Azure VMs give you complete administrative control of the server using these tools.

Azure app services

App Services abstract away the underlying servers that your applications are running on. You do not have access to install traditional monitoring agents. Instead, there are some APM solutions that work with App Services like Retrace. Azure Monitor can also provide some basic performance metrics.


App Services limits the ability to monitor Windows performance counters. For example, this makes it impossible to monitor things like .NET garbage collection counters. Event tracing for windows (ETW) is also not fully supported. Within the Azure Portal, you can access "Metrics Per Instance" to see some Windows performance counters, but you are limited to these and they don't seem to show in Azure Monitor currently.


Azure Cloud Services

Cloud Services do not have the same limitations as App Services. Cloud Services provide administrator access to the servers they run on. You can configure startup tasks to install monitoring agents. You should be able to use most traditional application monitoring tools, if you can script the install process. Azure Monitor does not provide nearly as many metrics as it does for App Services.


SQL Azure

As part of Stackify Retrace, the usage and performance of all your SQL queries are automatically tracked. Retrace can be used to identify slow and overused SQL queries. Retrace can also monitor specific queries and alert you if they are slow.

Azure service bus

If you are using the Azure service bus in your application, it is important that you monitor your queues. If too many messages are in your queues then you know your applications are either not working or reading the messages fast enough. Retrace can monitor individual queues so you can ensure messages are not stacking up.

You can also utilize Retrace APM to profile the code in your Azure worker Roles. You can track how often you process queued messages, how long it takes, and exactly what your code is doing.

How to install Retrace APM

Installing Retrace is really simple, It's installed as a code-level profiler and server monitoring agent. You can easily install it on cloud services and virtual machines. You do not need to change any code or re-deploy your app. All you need to do is sign up for a free trial of Stackify, install our site extension via the Azure portal and enter your Stackify license key into your application settings. See our docs for full details step-by-step. You can be up and running in a few minutes.
Data Security with Retrace
Concerned about security? We take our role of safeguarding your company's sensitive information. We recognize the role we play in ensuring that we are a strong link in your data privacy and security ecosystem. Get more information about the Stackify platform, its security-related features, and the security measures employed by the Stackify team.

How is your application stack performing?

Stackify makes it easy to understand how your application stack is performing. Our APM solution automatically recognizes all the most common .NET libraries including popular Azure features like service bus, DocumentDB, Azure storage, SQL Azure, Redis and more. This makes it easy to identify performance problems quickly.


Satisfaction scoring makes it easy to understand performance

Stackify also tracks the user satisfaction for your application based on apdex scoring. It is calculated based on response time goals you set for your application. Response time averages are easily skewed by a few slow requests. However satisfaction scores bucket the performance into "Fast", "Sluggish", "Too Slow", and "Failed" requests, which makes it easier to understand their relative performance. An overall score from 0 to 100 is also calculated.


Monitoring performance of each web request

View the performance of all the requests in your app. Quickly find which requests are slowest, most used, errors, slow due to database calls, and more.


Find slow database queries

Stackify also tracks all of your database queries and allows you to see which ones are the slowest.

Monitoring performance of web services

You can also see which web services you are using and how they are performing.

Monitor your Azure website

Stackify can also do ping-type checks against your website URL or other URLs every minute and alert you if it is too slow or returns an improper status code.

Stackify is your top choice for Azure monitoring

Stackify is written in ASP.NET and has been hosted on Azure since 2012. You can rest assured we have top-notch support for monitoring your Azure resources. Our goal is to help developers find and fix application problems quickly by combining all the data and tools they need to do so.

Get started with a free trial today!

Note: Almost everything in this post are examples from our online sandbox account. You can access it anytime to play with our product and get a better idea of how it works.