In the last post I walked through how you can really easily create a site, and deploy a blog with WordPress. Now that you have had some time to create your blog, write some posts, and become a big diva in the blog-o-sphere, it’s time to learn how you can figure out what the health of your site is.
You might have questions like:
- Have there been any errors?
- How much data (in or out) is my site consuming?
- How many requests am I getting?
- How busy is my CPU?
- When will the cookies in my oven be done baking?
Up until now, with Windows Azure, we had a great diagnostics API. But that is just what it was, an API. If you wanted to be able to work with that data (and most likely make resource decisions based on that data) you had to go get an app or build an app. Now we have baked in the basic meters of consumption into the dashboard making it easy for you to know how busy your server is.
Keep in mind we are showing you metrics that are important to your server, and not necessarily about the traffic to your site. You are still going to have to use a different tool for that. I like to use StatCounter.com to track number of visitors, what pages they visit, etc.
When you log into your dashboard at manage.windowsazure.com you will see your list of sites. Just click on the name of the site you want to monitor.
The basic dashboard will show you information about the metrics we just discussed above. You will get a pretty graph that defaults to the last 24 hours.
You can see that there was a little bump on my site right after midnight (probably search engines) and then a bigger bump shortly after lunch (while I am writing these posts).
The different lines correspond to how much bandwidth, CPU, requests, and errors my site has used or had. At this point, during the spike, I have had 6.27MB data in (inbound data is always free on any Windows Azure service) and I have had a little of 5MB of outbound data. Fortunately there haven’t been any errors.
That’s great, but that is only the past 24 hours, but I don’t want to have to check once a day to see how things are going. On the top right of the graph you can select the time window (6 hours, 24 hours, or 7 days) that the graph will cover. This will refresh the graph.
On this 7 day graph you can see I had a bump on June 9th, and then again on the 10th.
Lower down on the same page are some longer term metrics to show you how many resources you are consuming over a longer period of time, versus your subscription limits. These are handy to keep an eye on, because if you hit the spending cap for your subscription (for trials and MSDN free benefits) your service will be shut off until the next month.
In this case, it is only tracking how much of the local disk I have used out of my 10GB allocation. Since I only have a few themes and plugins installed for my WordPress blog, I am not using much of the local storage.
Later on when we talk about scaling, this local storage will be replicated across your different servers automatically for you.
Below the storage usage meter is a list of any linked resources. These are other Windows Azure resources we know you have created as part of this site. In this case you will likely only have your database listed. By knowing what resources are related to each other we can more easily manage your infrastructure.