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Store and View Diagnostic Data in Windows Azure Storage

Updated: December 2, 2013

Diagnostic data is not permanently stored unless you transfer the data to the Windows Azure storage emulator or to Windows Azure storage. After the data is transferred to storage it can be viewed with one of several available tools.

Specifying a storage account

You specify the storage account that you want to use in the ServiceConfiguration.cscfg file. The account information is defined as a connection string in a configuration setting. The following example shows the default connection string that is created when the Windows Azure Diagnostics module is imported:


<ConfigurationSettings>
   <Setting name="Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Plugins.Diagnostics.ConnectionString" value="UseDevelopmentStorage=true" />
</ConfigurationSettings>

You can change this connection string to provide account information for a Windows Azure storage account.

Depending on the type of diagnostic data that is being collected, Windows Azure Diagnostics uses either the Blob service or the Table service. The following table shows the data sources that are persisted and their format.

 

Data source Storage format

Windows Azure logs

Table

IIS 7.0 logs

Blob

Windows Azure Diagnostics infrastructure logs

Table

Failed Request Trace logs

Blob

Windows Event logs

Table

Performance counters

Table

Crash dumps

Blob

Custom error logs

Blob

Transferring diagnostic data

The request to transfer diagnostic data can occur either directly in the role (programmatically or through the configuration file) or through remote configuration. You can transfer diagnostic data at scheduled intervals or you can transfer data on-demand.

ImportantImportant
When you transfer diagnostic data to a Windows Azure storage account, you incur costs for the storage resources that your diagnostic data uses.

Viewing diagnostic data

Log data is stored in either Blob or Table storage with the following names:

Tables

  • WadLogsTable - Contains the logs written in code using the trace listener.

  • WADDiagnosticInfrastructureLogsTable - Contains information about the diagnostic monitor and configuration changes.

  • WADDirectoriesTable – Contains information about directories that the diagnostic monitor is monitoring.  This includes IIS logs, IIS failed request logs, and custom directories.  The location of the blob log file is specified in the Container field and the name of the blob is in the RelativePath field.  The AbsolutePath field indicates the location and name of the file as it existed on the Windows Azure virtual machine.

  • WADPerformanceCountersTable – Contains information from performance counters.

  • WADWindowsEventLogsTable – Contains information from Windows Event logs.

Blobs

  • wad-control-container – Contains the XML configuration files that controls the Windows Azure diagnostics.

  • wad-iis-failedreqlogfiles – Contains information from IIS Failed Request logs.

  • wad-iis-logfiles – Contains information about IIS logs.

  • <custom> – A custom container based on configuring directories that are monitored by the diagnostic monitor.  The name of this blob container will be specified in WADDirectoriesTable.

Several tools are available to view the data after it is transferred to storage. For example:

  • Server Explorer in Visual Studio - If you have installed the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio, you can use the Windows Azure Storage node in Server Explorer to view read-only blob and table data from your Windows Azure storage accounts. You can display data from your local storage emulator account and also from storage accounts you have created for Windows Azure. For more information, see Browsing Storage Resources with Server Explorer.

  • Azure Storage Explorer by Neudesic - Azure Storage Explorer is a useful graphical user interface tool for inspecting and altering the data in your Windows Azure storage projects including the logs of your Windows Azure applications. To download the tool, see Azure Storage Explorer.

  • Azure Diagnostics Manager by Cerebrata - Azure Diagnostics Manager is a Windows (WPF) based client for managing Windows Azure Diagnostics. It lets you view, download, and manage the diagnostics data collected by the applications running in Windows Azure. To download the tool, see Azure Diagnostics Manager.

See Also

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