Windows Azure Troubleshooting Glossary

One of the hardest things we face as developers is Troubleshooting and Debugging code in different environments and scenarios, this continues to hold true in the Cloud. This Blog post will outline some of the resources available to developers that are trying to troubleshoot Windows Azure.

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Troubleshooting the Environment in Windows Azure

Troubleshooting Windows Azure Operating System Issues

Even though the Cloud attempts to limit diversity amongst it’s hardware, the Operating System is something that will always need to be able to adapt new features or emerging security threats.

One thing that Microsoft has done particularly well is keeping Operating System upgrades very Abstract in Windows Azure by releasing a new Virtual Machine (VM) Image (OS Guest) with every set of new upgrades. The VM images are controlled in the Cloud Service Configuration (cscfg) file by setting the osFamily and osVersion attributes.

OS Guest Resources

VM Role Resources

Troubleshooting Windows Azure Deployment

Deployment is the stage of development in which you have the least amount of control. A number of Debugging paradigms are not available unless the Role Initializes and is created successfully. Once the Role is created, you will be able to debug using Remote Desktop Access to Windows Azure (if configured), or Download Intellitrace Diagnostics Information (if enabled).

With the introduction of Start-Up Tasks, many new scenarios that may involve debugging have been introduced. Be sure to test your startup scripts using RDP before trying to deploy your application with the Tasks configured in the Cloud Service Definition (csdef) file.

Deployment Resources

Service Management Resources

Windows Azure Diagnostics Resources

Troubleshooting Windows Azure Platform

This includes both the Tools & SDK as well as support for .NET Libraries & Technologies.

Windows Azure Platform Resources

Windows Azure

Troubleshooting SQL Azure

SQL Azure is a Relational Database System in the Cloud. Microsoft’s Cloud approach to the cloud does not limit support for Popular Programming Languages and therefore was a need for a Management Component for SQL Azure to allow those who are not using the Microsoft Stack a way to manage their SQL Azure database without the need to install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

SQL Azure Database Troubleshooting

When Microsoft started Venturing down the road of Creating SQL Azure they had a number of security concerns to address exposing a full features SQL Server instance in the Cloud. With this in mind, there were a number of features that were pulled out of SQL Azure from your typical install of SQL Server 2008.

Along the same lines of feature support for SQL Azure, there were a number of commands that needed to be cut from T-SQL in the Cloud.

SQL Azure Resources

Transact-SQL (T-SQL) Resources

SQL Azure Manager Troubleshooting

Formerly Project Houston, the Database Manager for SQL Azure is a new service offering (Released at PDC 2010).  An extremely compelling offering being able to manage a database from any computer that has internet connectivity, with one limitation, a dependency on the Silverlight Browser Plugin (which in my opinion *everyone* should have).

Database Manager for SQL Azure Resources

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Troubleshooting Windows Azure Security

Security is one of the Major concerns in the Cloud, Hopefully you aren’t using these to troubleshoot someone breaking into your application on Windows Azure, but actually reading them while you’re preparing your architecture plans for your system.

Windows Azure Security Resources