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Best Practices for Monitoring Applications Running on Azure App Service

By on January 18, 2021

Microsoft Azure has become the go-to cloud computing service for over 95% of Fortune 500 companies—and for good reason. Azure’s flexible and scalable cloud environment offers a secure off-premises solution for your business IT infrastructure, without the need to manage physical servers in your changing IT infrastructure. Azure allows you to manage servers, databases, applications, and more, all from one of Microsoft’s secure global cloud storage sites.

When your business decides to deploy its applications in an Azure cloud environment, you’ll likely use Azure App Service. Azure App Service is a one-stop shop for app development, scaling, deployment, and management within your Azure cloud.

Azure App Service is compatible with a wide range of app development frameworks, including Java, Python, .NET, PHP, and more. Azure App Service allows you to run applications either as code or in containers, connect with your existing databases, and interact with Azure AD integrations. To meet your unique enterprise needs, Azure App Services is compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems. And in case you need to transition your existing applications to the Azure cloud, Microsoft allows you to migrate your app infrastructure to Azure.

However, most IT admins find the best practice for deploying Azure App Service is to use an external monitoring tool, like SolarWinds AppOptics, to provide the visibility they need to ensure excellent performance.

Optimize Your Azure APM

For IT professionals who need to manage their Azure applications in an efficient and effective way, AppOptics aims to fill the gaps left by Azure’s native APM features. Azure Service provides limited built-in monitoring tools for your web apps, mobile, and API apps. This monitoring focuses on quotas around CPU, memory, bandwidth, and storage, and metrics like response time, garbage collection, and request counts.

However, relying on these built-in monitoring features isn’t typically sufficient, in part because your IT infrastructure likely uses other services and applications. To make the most out of your Azure metrics, you’ll need to implement an APM tool designed to help minimize the time you spend troubleshooting, to maximize your accuracy, and to understand the root cause of a problem within your IT infrastructure—not just within your application layer or your Azure cloud environment.

A unified tool can put Azure metrics in context. Full-stack APM allows you to analyze performance metrics from your hybrid and on-premises environments, right next to your application layer metrics. In addition, a more comprehensive tool like SolarWinds AppOptics can provide more visibility by offering baselines, diagnostics, and other features useful for a robust APM strategy.

Monitoring applications running on Azure App Service isn’t fundamentally different than for other applications. With SolarWinds AppOptics, you have the tools you need to follow best practices for monitoring applications running on Azure App Service:

Streamline the Troubleshooting Process

Azure App Service native APM services offer metrics for monitoring app performance within your Azure App Service, but your APM visibility will be limited to the application layer without full-stack APM tools. Because the source of your app performance instance could exist at a lower level in your IT infrastructure, full-stack diagnostics can be crucial to improve the accuracy of your troubleshooting.

When SolarWinds AppOptics integrates with your Azure Service metrics, you can use your AppOptics dashboard to view detailed full-stack metrics in real time. AppOptics allows you to streamline your detection of troublesome instances with efficient monitoring in a user-friendly display. Once you’ve detected an issue, you can streamline code-level troubleshooting with AppOptics distributed tracing and performance diagnostics.

Troubleshoot More Accurately With Full-stack Visibility

To maximize the accuracy of your troubleshooting, AppOptics allows you to dig deep into the root cause of app performance issues. If an app is experiencing downtime, is unresponsive, or has shut down completely, you can cross-reference your system performance metrics, all from the same dashboard. AppOptics offers a comprehensive combination of APM, Azure platform metrics, and on-premises infrastructure monitoring for a bird’s eye view of performance issues.

For troubleshooting major structural issues in your IT infrastructure, AppOptics uses metrics correlation to help to detect performance bottlenecks, hot spots, and other app performance outliers with minimal guesswork. You can expand your AppOptics issue diagnostics down to the log level, with SolarWinds Loggly®, offering comprehensive log analytics. Today, AppOptics and Loggly have been brought together providing an APM Integrated Experience allowing you to monitor metrics, traces, and logs from a single interface.

Deep-Dive Troubleshooting at the Code Level

AppOptics offers several unique features allowing you to troubleshoot efficiently and effectively at the code level. You can narrow your scope with distributed tracing, exception tracking, and live code profiling to identify code-level errors in your application performance.

It’s understandable you may not be intimately familiar with details of each application’s code. That’s why AppOptics allows you to simplify code-level troubleshooting with root cause summaries. Summaries help to clarify your code-level analytics with guidance in plain English to eliminate the hassle involved in fixing code-level application issues. Combining accuracy with efficiency means you and your customers can save time and money during the troubleshooting process.

When you need to correct a code-level issue, AppOptics diagnostics are compatible with many different languages and platforms. In addition to traditional languages like Java and Python, AppOptics offers comprehensive code-level assistance for applications using .Net, PHP, Go, Scala, and more.

The SolarWinds AppOptics Advantage

Azure cloud with both Azure Services and Azure App Service is leading a growing market of cloud hosting services because of the compatibility, flexibility, and security it offers for hosting apps. SolarWinds AppOptics offers a robust solution to application monitoring capable of integrating with Azure Services and Azure App Service and a wide range of other platforms.

The future of enterprise computing is in the cloud, and you need to make sure your cloud-based application monitoring in the Azure environment is as effective as possible. No matter if you’re viewing metrics from the Azure cloud, from hybrid structures, or from on-premises servers, AppOptics allows you to troubleshoot app performance issues with a full-stack view.

For busy technicians, a single solution designed to monitor both infrastructure and applications means you can streamline your performance monitoring while improving your troubleshooting. AppOptics full-stack APM provides a big-picture view of your full-stack app metrics, combined with a deep dive into correlated performance metrics at the code level.

Cloud computing with Azure App Service can bring your IT environment into the 2020s. When your business is operating from Azure Cloud, AppOptics can make your Azure APM easier, more cost-efficient, and more accurate. With AppOptics, your full-stack APM service is here.

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