One of the key differentiators of a successful website is how much attention a website owner/administrator pays to what his website is doing, how it is behaving and the response time to identify and fix issues with the site if and when they crop up. With the latest release of the Azure Management portal and Windows Azure Website we have improved this experience by exposing site metrics at the minute level granularity. This can be seen in the Dashboard and Monitor sections of the Azure Management Portal. The new 1 HOUR
time window provides the familiar metrics view with each metric broken down by minute. This is helpful for live debugging of issues where you want to see changes in behavior as they happen and not aggregated over a courser time grain like hours or days. From the example graph below, it can be clearly observed that website was generating a high number of HTTP Server Errors between 6:45pm and 7:01pm, however a change of behavior happened around 7:02 PM and the errors were greatly reduced.
In addition to the usability improvement this new granularity provides, it enables hooking Alert Rules for websites metrics. New alerts can be configured by selecting a metric and going through the Add Rule wizard:
For the purpose of this blog post let’s say we are interested in generating an alert every time we get more than 10 HTTP Server Errors in a 5 minute time period. To do this we would select the target metric: Http Server Errors
and click on the ADD RULE
button. This will start the Rule creation wizard: Provide a meaningful name and description for the alert.
Specify the CONDITION
, THRESHOLD VALUE
and ALERT EVALUATION WINDOW
. Alert e-mails can be sent to existing service administrators and co-admins or a specific e-mail address.
The internet is full of very diverse websites, and there is no “one size fits all solution” to the problem of monitoring a website. On the other hand there are some simple rules that can be added to your websites to help you deal with different scenarios. I will provide some scenario based examples of Alert Rules in a future post.