Monitor a Web App
In this IT Pro challenge, participants get hands-on experience activating server logging and using Application Insights to view Azure web application events, test web application availability, and set up and check alerts. Critical troubleshooting, testing, and monitoring skills learned benefit System Administrators and Network Engineers.
This hour-long virtual lab teaches you how to monitor an existing Microsoft Azure web app through server logging and Application Insights. You configure what web app functions you wish to follow, generate events, view real-time reports, customize a chart, analyze errors, run availability tests, and create and trigger alerts. At the end of this hands-on-experience, you have demonstrated how to track web app activity and obtain timely information about the web-server and failed requests.
Intermediate learners who know how to navigate through Microsoft Azure resources and have used or generated logging information can succeed in this challenge. The lab requires participants to block an hour for completion in one sitting. The lab sets up a resource group, storage account, app service plan, and Web app for the user needed to record web app activities and upload logging information to keep.
An essential piece of a System Administrator’s role ensures that a web app continues to be available. Without appropriate access to a web app, users may have trouble working or completing daily tasks, like a bank transfer. This lab has learners generate activity from the web apps designed to trigger alerts and allow for application test availability, helpful in catching when a web app no longer functions.
Understanding the Scenario:
This practical challenge puts you in the role of a system administrator for a company that provides web hosting services for customers. You need to configure monitoring for a web application. You start by activating server logging and Application Insights for an existing web application and verifying that metrics accumulate. You then generate custom charts and analyze error events. Next, you run an availability test on the web application. Finally, you configure and test an alert on the web application.
Implement Logging and Application Insights:
This lab module takes you through logging and Application Insights setup, reporting, and uploading from your computer. Also, you create a container within the storage account to save the logs.
You produce website activities and check results on a real-time chart. You then download and upload the metrics chart, a blob file in Excel format. Finally, the exercise shows ways to get error traces and explore web app components.
Azure’s containers store unstructured information in an object format called a blob. That way, you can archive large log files to restore in case the logging data gets lost, and store data for later analysis.
Test Application Availability:
You add and run a test and download the details from that test as an excel file. When you first create the test, it starts to run—press pause, by the test name to end it. You then upload that information into the container setup from the previous lab module.
Web app activity logs can either be loaded in a storage account or put in an event hub. Aggregated event data consumes tons of space; so, set a retention period for no more than a year. Figure out your storage availability and data to be captured through a test plan before testing your web app.
Create an Alert:
Creating an alert notifies you when web activities trigger errors or exceed a threshold. In this exercise, you set up how you wish the server to send notifications and when or what conditions to notify you. You then generate some activity on the web page, which triggers the alert. You then get alerted. The warnings you see allows you to check your work, ensuring correct alert configurations.
Learners come away from this lab with a full understanding of web app server logging and Application Insight monitoring functionality. You demonstrate:
- Activation of server logging and Application Insights for a Web App.
- Execution of an availability test on a Web App.
- Configuration of an alert for a Web App.
You have gained practice using essential Application Insights functions. You may wish to check out other challenges to extend that knowledge further.