Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor, Trevor Parsons, AppDynamics Blog

Related Topics: .NET, PowerBuilder, AJAX & REA, Silverlight, Web 2.0, Open Web

.NET: Blog Feed Post

Is Your .NET Application Ready for a Race?

Let's start by taking a look at the tools & techniques that are available to collect performance data for your .NET application

If your .NET application was to run a sprint, would it win the race?  To determine whether your application meets its performance objectives (and wins the race) and to help identify bottlenecks, you need to measure your application's performance and collect metrics. Metrics of particular interest tend to be response time, throughput, and resource utilization (how much CPU, memory, disk I/O, and network bandwidth your application consumes while performing its tasks).

Let's start by taking a look at the tools and techniques that are available to collect performance data for your .NET application.

Tools and Techniques
You might need to collect data during prototyping, application development, performance testing, and tuning, and in a production environment. The following tools and techniques can help you to collect performance data:

  • System and platform metrics
  • Network monitoring tools
  • Profiling tools
  • Tools for analyzing log files
  • Application instrumentation

We won't go into these tools in detail as they go beyond the scope of this article and most of them are standard tools that come with development tools such as Visual Studio.

Application Instrumentation
In addition to the available profiling and monitoring tools, you can instrument your code for capturing application-specific information. This form of information is much more fine-grained than that provided by standard system performance counters. It is also a great way to capture metrics around specific application scenarios.

For example, instrumentation enables you to measure how long it takes to add an item to a shopping cart, or how long it takes to validate a credit card number. There are a number of ways that you can instrument your code. These are summarized in the next section, and each approach is expanded upon in subsequent sections.

Instrumentation
Instrumentation is the process of adding code to your application to generate events to allow you to monitor application health and performance. The events are generally logged to an appropriate event source and can be monitored by suitable monitoring tools such as MOM. An event is a notification of some action.

Instrumentation allows you to perform various tasks:

  • Profile applications. Profiling enables you to identify how long a particular method or operation takes to run and how efficient it is in terms of CPU and memory resource usage.
  • Collect custom data. This might include custom performance counters that you use to monitor application-specific activity, such as how long it takes to place an order.
  • Trace code. This allows you to understand the application code path and all the methods run for a particular use case.

You can use various tools and technologies to help you instrument your application. The right choice depends on your development platform, logging frequency, the volume of data being logged, and how you plan to monitor. You have several options:

  • Event Tracing for Windows (ETW)
  • Window Management Instrumentation (WMI)
  • Custom performance counters
  • Enterprise Instrumentation Framework (EIF)
  • Trace and Debug classes

The various options available for logging are suitable for different scenarios. The following questions help you make an informed choice:

  • What do you want to accomplish with instrumentation?

There are various goals for instrumentation. For example, if you need only debugging and tracing features, you might use these features mostly in a test environment where performance is not an issue. But if you plan to log the business actions performed by each user, this is very important from a performance point of view and needs to be considered at design time.

If you need to trace and log activity, you need to opt for a tool that lets you specify various levels of instrumentation through a configuration file.

  • How frequently do you need to log events?

Frequency of logging is one of the most important factors that help you decide the right choice of the instrumentation tool for you. For example, the event log is suitable only for very low-frequency events, whereas a custom log file or ETW is more suitable for high-frequency logging. The custom performance counters are best for long-term trending such as week-long stress tests.

  • Is your instrumentation configurable?

In a real-life scenario for an application, you might want to instrument it so the data collected is helpful in various application stages, such as development (debugging/tracing), system testing, tuning, and capacity planning.

All the code stubs for generating the data need to be inserted in the application during the development stage of the life cycle. The code stubs for generating such a huge amount of data may themselves add to performance overhead. However, in most scenarios, it is a small subset of data that you are interested in during a particular stage of the life cycle. You need configurable instrumentation so the relevant set can be turned on at will to minimize performance overhead.

Based on the preceding considerations, the usage scenarios for the various options are as follows.

Event Tracing for Windows (ETW)
ETW is suitable for logging high-frequency events such as errors, warnings or audits. The frequency of logging can be in hundreds of thousands of events each second in a running application. This is ideal for server applications that log the business actions performed by the users. The amount of logging done may be high, depending on the number of concurrent users connected to the server.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
Windows Management Instrumentation is the core management technology built into the Windows operating system. WMI supports a very wide range of management tools that lets you analyze the data collected for your application.

Logging to a WMI sink is more expensive than other sinks, so you should generally do so only for critical and high-visibility events such as a system driver failure.

Custom Performance Counters
You can use custom counters to time key scenarios within your application. For example, you can use a custom counter to time how long order placement takes or how long it takes to retrieve customer records.

Enterprise Instrumentation Framework (EIF)
EIF permits .NET applications to be instrumented to publish a broad spectrum of information such as errors, warnings, audits, diagnostic events, and business-specific events. You can configure which events you generate and where the events go, to the Windows Event Log service or SQL Server, for example. EIF encapsulates the functionality of ETW, the Event Log service, and WMI. EIF is suitable for large enterprise applications where you need various logging levels in your application across the tiers. EIF also provides you a configuration file where you can turn on or turn off the switch for logging of a particular counter.

EIF also has an important feature of request tracing that enables you to trace business processes or application services by following an execution path for an application spanning multiple physical tiers.

Trace and Debug Classes
The Trace and Debug classes allow you to add functionality in your application mostly for debugging and tracing purposes.

The code added using the Debug class is relevant for debug builds of the application. You can print the debugging information and check logic for assertions for various regular expressions in your code. You can write the debug information by registering a particular listener, as shown in the following code sample.

public static void Main(string[] args){

Debug.Listeners.Add(new TextWriterTraceListener(Console.Out));

Debug.AutoFlush = true;

Debug.WriteLine("Entering Main");

Debug.WriteLine("Exiting Main");

}

The code stubs added using the Trace class are enabled for both the debug and release builds of the application. The Trace class can be used to isolate problems by enabling the trace through the execution code path.

In Visual Studio .NET, tracing is enabled by default. When using the command line build for C# source code, you need to add /d:Trace flag for the compiler or #define TRACE in the source code to enable tracing. For Visual Basic .NET source code you need to add /d:TRACE=True for the command line compiler. The following code sample uses the Trace class for adding the tracing feature in your code.

public static void Main(string[] args){

Trace.Listeners.Add(new TextWriterTraceListener(Console.Out));

Trace.AutoFlush = true;

Trace.WriteLine("Entering Main");

Trace.WriteLine("Exiting Main");

}

Stay tuned to our series on how to improve .NET apps performance to learn more.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dr...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
After making a doctor’s appointment via your mobile device, you receive a calendar invite. The day of your appointment, you get a reminder with the doctor’s location and contact information. As you enter the doctor’s exam room, the medical team is equipped with the latest tablet containing your medical history – he or she makes real time updates to your medical file. At the end of your visit, you receive an electronic prescription to your preferred pharmacy and can schedule your next appointment.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microservices, and more.
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.