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Common Issues Which Cause Roles to Recycle

Updated: January 13, 2014

This section lists some of the common causes of deployment problems, and offers troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the problems. An indication that a problem exists with an application is when the role instance fails to start, or it cycles between the initializing, busy, and stopping states.

If a role in your application relies on any assembly that is not part of the .NET Framework or the Windows Azure managed library, you must explicitly include that assembly in the application package. Keep in mind that other Microsoft frameworks are not available on Windows Azure by default. If your role relies on such a framework, you must add those assemblies to the application package.

Before you build and package your application, verify the following:

  • The Copy Local property is set to True for each referenced assembly in your project that is not part of the Windows Azure SDK or the .NET Framework, if you are using Visual Studio. If you are not using Visual Studio, you must specify the locations for referenced assemblies when you call CSPack. For more information about using CSPack, see CSPack Command-Line Tool.

  • The web.config file does not reference any unused assemblies in the compilation element, and all references point to assemblies that are either part of the .NET Framework or the Windows Azure SDK, or that have their Copy Local property set to True in Visual Studio, or that are included in the application package by running CSPack.

  • The Build Action of every .cshtml file is set to Content. This ensures that the files will appear correctly in the package and allows other referenced files to appear in the package.

Windows Azure is a 64-bit environment. Therefore, .NET assemblies compiled for a 32-bit target won't work on Windows Azure.

Any exceptions that are thrown by the methods of the RoleEntryPoint class, which includes the OnStart, OnStop, and Run, are unhandled exceptions. If an unhandled exception occurs in one of these methods, the role will recycle. If the role is recycling repeatedly, it may be throwing an unhandled exception each times it tries to start.

The Run method is intended to run indefinitely. If your code overrides the Run method, it should sleep indefinitely. If the Run method returns, the role recycles.

If application uses Windows Azure Diagnostics, then your service configuration file must specify the DiagnosticsConnectionString configuration setting. This setting should specify an HTTPS connection to your storage account in Windows Azure.

To ensure that your DiagnosticsConnectionString setting is correct before you deploy your application package to Windows Azure, verify the following:

  • The DiagnosticsConnectionString setting points to a valid storage account in Windows Azure. By default, this setting points to the emulated storage account, so you must explicitly change this setting before you deploy your application package. If you do not change this setting, an exception is thrown when the role instance attempts to start the diagnostic monitor. This may cause the role instance to recycle indefinitely.

  • The connection string is specified in the following format (the protocol must be specified as HTTPS). Replace MyAccountName with the name of your storage account, and MyAccountKey with your access key:

    DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=MyAccountName;AccountKey=MyAccountKey
    
    For more information about using connection strings, see Configuring Azure Connection Strings.

If you are developing your application using the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio, you can use the property pages to set this value. For more information about using Visual Studio to set the configuration values, see Configuring the Cloud Service.

To run a web role under SSL, you must ensure that your exported management certificate includes the private key. If you use the Windows Certificate Manager to export the certificate, be sure to select the Yes, export the private key option. The certificate must be exported to the PFX format, which is the only format currently supported.

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