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Microsoft Monitoring Agent Available for Dev-Ops

Microsoft has released a new tool that can be used by developers and IT professionals alike to check the performance of .NET applications, as well as entire computing environments.

The Microsoft Monitoring Agent, available this month at the release-to-manufacturing stage, is the successor product to Microsoft's Operations Manager Agent. It includes the "full functionality" of the .NET Application Performance Monitoring tool in System Center, as well as the IntelliTrace collector capabilities of the latest Visual Studio release, according to a Microsoft TechNet blog description.

The Monitoring Agent can be used to monitor applications in production environments, or it can be used to collect system diagnostics, including event logs, traces and performance information. It works with System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager or System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 configurations. It also can be used as a standalone solution in conjunction with Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate edition or Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 Ultimate edition.

Microsoft describes how to use the agent as a standalone solution with Visual Studio in this blog post. When used in this way, the agent saves the data in an IntelliTrace file that can be opened with Visual Studio. The monitor mode detects exceptions, such as Web pages that take longer than five seconds to respond.

Power Shell 2.0 or 3.0 is a requirement for using the Monitoring Agent, as well as the .NET Framework 3.5 or later versions.

Also this month, Microsoft released another network-monitoring tool for Windows systems, this time for messaging traffic. The new Message Analyzer solution, which is the successor to Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4, can be used to capture protocol messaging traffic and other system messages, according to Microsoft's description.

The Message Analyzer tool lets users "import, aggregate, and analyze data from log and trace files," according to Microsoft. Data analyses can be visualized using graphical views, such as grids, charts and timelines. The data can be pulled from different sources for analysis in one place, according to Microsoft.

"Message Analyzer also enables you to capture messages from multiple places in the system at the same time, collect them in one trace file and package up all the information so that it can be analyzed elsewhere," a Microsoft blog post explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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