LeanSentry is a lightweight 24x7 monitoring service built specifically for the Windows web application stack. It combines always-on monitoring, best practice analysis, and expert problem diagnostics into a single service that is easy to deploy and easy to use.
What does LeanSentry do?
LeanSentry monitors servers running Windows web applications, correlates data from dozens of standard Windows monitoring protocols, and automatically applies expert analysis to help you monitor, troubleshoot, and improve your production web applications.
LeanSentry gives you:
1. Automatic alerts that identify problems such as abnormal server resource usage, application errors, slow requests, and more.
2. A simple dashboard that tracks application and server health.
3. Ability to track every slow and failed request, and see how they affect your users.
4. Detailed error reporting across Windows server, IIS, ASP.NET, and other application frameworks.
5. Detailed accounting of resource usage, including CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network, down to the application function where possible.
6. Automatic root cause diagnosis of problems, such as which website caused low memory, which error causing failed requests, and more.
7. Expert insights on abnormal application behavior, IIS and .NET performance best practices, and more.
What data does LeanSentry collect / How does it get it?
LeanSentry works by combining non-sensitive monitoring data from multiple Windows monitoring protocols, including Performance Counters, EventLog, IIS logs, ETW tracing, WMI, and more. By correlating this data, it is able to create a more complete picture of application health and performance than is possible via any one monitoring tool.
Unlike a high-overhead debugger or profiler that are turned on after a problem happens, LeanSentry monitors production environments 24x7 and insures that sufficient information about each problem is captured no matter when or how rarely the problem happens.
This is possible because the protocols LeanSentry uses were designed to operate in production environments, and have been performance tuned by Microsoft for decades.
To further reduce the impact to your environment, LeanSentry supports an agentless configuration where its monitoring service runs in a separate VM in your environment, and monitors all your production servers remotely without ever installing anything on them. In this configuration, an optional diagnostic Agent is also available to generate advanced diagnostic data such as CPU profiles and request traces.
Is it my application data safe / secure?
LeanSentry works hard to insure it only collects non-security-sensitive performance data, and uses a multi-layered approach to insure its security and privacy. Unlike other tools that load a debugger or profiler into your application and have unlimited access to its data and memory, LeanSentry uses completely external monitoring and never loads any code into your application.
Once collected, performance data is sent over an authenticated, encrypted HTTPS channel to our cloud service for analysis and storage. Thereafter, this data is only accessible via our authenticated HTTPS dashboard.
What happens to the data after LeanSentry collects it?
The data from multiple sources is correlated together and built into a simple model of your application environment, describing its servers, applications, URLs, errors, and so on. This data is filtered down to what is considered relevant, heavily compressed, and sent over a secure and authenticated HTTPS channel to the LeanSentry cloud service.
Our logical and physical compression results in 20-50x reduction in monitoring data volume, resulting in a 10-50Kb/sec bandwidth usage per server monitored.
The LeanSentry cloud service further processes the data, aggregating information across multiple servers in your environment and performing expert analysis to identify problems and potential improvements. The resulting information is then saved so it can be accessed by you via the LeanSentry dashboard.
Does LeanSentry store everything?
LeanSentry only stores aggregated data needed to visualize application performance, and diagnostic data necessary to troubleshoot application problems. This allows us to provide a near realtime, 24x7 record of application performance, without creating unsustainable bandwidth and storage requirements.
For example, if 5000 requests to a particular URL in your application encounter an error, LeanSentry will store the total count of failed requests and specific errors observed - but only preserve enough examples of each to help you diagnose the problem.
As a result, LeanSentry does not provide a complete list of all requests in your application, only those are are interesting. If you need complete log analysis, you will need to store, manage, and query gigabytes of your own log data.
How does LeanSentry help me monitor and troubleshoot my applications?
LeanSentry uses the monitoring data from your environment to:
1. Provide you with a complete historical performance record in the LeanSentry dashboard, and let you quickly troubleshoot slow performance, errors, and server resource problems.
2. Automatically alert you whenever it detects health and performance problems in your environment.
3. Analyze the performance data, and send you expert insights to help you spot abormal behavior, and take advantage of platform best practices to improve your applications.
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