Upcoming Changes to Windows Azure Logging

At commercial launch, Windows Azure will feature an improved logging system.  The new system will give users greater flexibility over what information is logged and how it is collected.

In preparation for the new logging system rollout, next week we will disable the ability to retrieve logs via the Windows Azure Portal.  Your existing applications will continue to run without modification.

Why a New Logging System?

In our initial Community Technology Preview, we provided a logging API that allowed developers to write custom messages to an append-only log.  The API was built on top of the efficient event tracing capabilities of Windows.

We’re expanding the functionality of the logging system to simplify common use cases.  In the new logging system, you’ll have the ability to collect other kinds of data, such as performance counters.  You’ll have the ability to automatically push your logs to Windows Azure storage at an interval you specify, in a structured format that’s easy to query.  You’ll have the ability to reconfigure your logging on the fly, so you don’t have to decide up-front exactly what data you’ll need to debug problems.

The new logging system retains the best attributes of our initial logging API (simplicity and efficiency) while adding important features to help you build robust and reliable applications on Windows Azure.