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Getting Started with Windows Azure

Getting Started with Windows Azure - Part 10: Monitor, Configure and Scale a Windows Azure Website

May 30 2013 12:00AM by Karthikeyan Anbarasan   

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see how to Monitor, configure and Scale a Windows Azure website that is developed and hosted in Windows Azure website environment. This is the final part of the series, in this series we have seen a lot on the application development for Windows Azure and deploying criteria’s and options that are available in Windows Azure to Manage and run the application. However, in this article we are going to see how to monitor and use the inbuilt options to Configure and make the application scalable to get the cloud advantage for the project.

Monitoring the application is something that is really needed to understand how the application performs in real time, like what will be the request and the response time, what will be the application CPU utilization etc. which is very much important to perform an engineering on top of it to narrow down the issues and provide a best user experience. When it comes to deploying the application to the cloud, in real time we will configure the application over the IIS to customize based on the needs like the .Net framework it supports, IIS default website start page etc. Which can be very much straight forward in this Windows Azure hosting environment. Finally scaling the application is really much needed as we need to scale the application to support the load it accepts which is also very much easy to configure in Windows Azure environment. Let us see the options in real time gradually to get a clear understanding on how to monitor, configure and scale the application.

Steps:

Open Windows Azure Management Portal with the login credentials and navigate to the Website, which we are going to analyze, in this example let us take the existing website, which is hosted in the Windows Azure websites for quite some time to get some real time data as shown in the screen below:

data

This is the dashboard view of the application, which has all the necessary details to manage the application. First let us see the Monitor option, click on the Monitor tab at the top and we can see a new screen, which shows the list of details like CPU Time, Data In, Data Out, Http Server Errors and Requests for the website for the last 24 hours as shown in the screen below:

monitor

We can customize the view like if we want to see the last 7 days details and if we want to filter the details, which we want to see, we can do that simply by selecting the filter and changing the time period at the top menu as shown in the screen below:

view customization

We can save the graph as an image to future references as well by simply right clicking on the graph and select Save image to save it locally. These are the basic options that are available to monitor the application and do a complete analysis. Next is to see the different configuration options, click on the Configure option in the top menu and we can see a list of options as shown in the screen below:

configure

Simple use the configuration tabs to select the .Net framework versions, Diagnostics settings to get the web server log, error messages, request logs etc by simply turning on and off the configuration tabs as shown in the screen below:

configuration tab

Now if we need to set up the application configuration keys and connection strings which we normally do in our web configs can be done over here with the different set of options to manually enter the Key value pair details. In addition, we can set the default document options that are available which is used as the startup screen for the project as shown in the screen below:

startup screen

Now the last thing, which we are going to see, is the Scale options, with this option we can simply change the mode of deployment environment from Free to Shared or Reserved, which are chargeable based on the environment and the storage we are going to use as shown in the screen below:

scale option

Next option is the Instance count, with this we can change the instances count from the base 1 to number of instance as per the mode we use. In free mode we can use the instance count as 1 and in the other modes we can change it accordingly as shown in the screen below:

instance count

Conclusion:

Therefore, in this article we have seen the much important concepts on managing the website in Windows Azure with the inbuilt tools and configurations which will be really helpful to do a performance on top of the existing website. Hope this series was very interesting and useful to you all.


Karthikeyan Anbarasan
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