News from the company...

AzureWatch retirement announcement and transition to CloudMonix

clock December 7, 2016 07:03 by author Igor Papirov

It has been more than 6 years since I originally launched AzureWatch to help companies monitor and auto-scale their Azure Cloud Services.  Over the years, as the Azure platform grew and matured, my team and I tried to adapt AzureWatch to help provide more value in the ever-changing Azure space. We implemented monitoring for SQL Azure, WebApps, Virtual Machines, and Service Bus. However, as Azure platform and our customers' needs started to rapidly evolve, it became increasingly obvious that AzureWatch's internal architecture and somewhat dated user interface would simply not be able to keep up.

Having learnt many hard lessons and with deeper understanding of what monitoring/automation needs Azure users have, we started to work on a new product called CloudMonix, to replace AzureWatch.  CloudMonix was designed to provide deep insight, /automated issue recovery/ and advanced auto-scaling to Azure (and in the future AWS) platforms.  In early 2015, CloudMonix, was launched with great success.  Since then, we've experienced a sustained 5-10% month-to-month growth rate.

Today, CloudMonix supports monitoring of over 30 different types of cloud resources, integrates with a dozen of third party products, offers beautiful UI and has tons of bells and whistles that are useful for Service Providers, DevOps teams, and Enterprises.  Almost every AzureWatch customer who saw our newsletters and tried CloudMonix, migrated to it and is very happy with the outcome.  The product is that good!  And what's most important, we update and improve CloudMonix on a weekly basis. Literally.

So, I am both saddened and happy to announce that we intend to retire AzureWatch in April of 2017.  We currently have remaining 16 customers that are still using it.  Unfortunately, it is becoming less and less profitable for us to maintain the infrastructure and support of AzureWatch as time progresses

I would like to invite every current and previous AzureWatch user to migrate to CloudMonix and my team and I are ready to every assistance and incentive to help migrate your team to the new platform.

To learn more about CloudMonix and to sign up for a free trial, please visit our website at

To understand the benefits of CloudMonix and see it in action please schedule a time here:


If I can assist in any other way, just email

Short FAQ:

Q: What are the benefits of CloudMonix vs AzureWatch?

A: CloudMonix far exceeds both AzureWatch and native Azure monitoring in a number of areas:


  • Amount and depth of diagnostic data it can capture, visualize and provide ability to alert on.
  • Powerful automation capabilities that can automatically recover your resources from outages and issues. 
  • Sophisticated auto-scaling capabilities not only for Cloud Services, but also for resources such as SQL Azure and Data Warehouses, WebApps and Virtual Machines, etc. 
  • Native integrations for many 3rd party products like Slack, PageryDuty, Zendesk and Autotask. 
  • Amazing UI with ability to scroll your dashboards back in time to easily find root cause of previously occurred production issues. 


    Overall, the full list of benefits is too lengthy to outline in an email.  Happy to discuss the benefits via online meeting. Click here to schedule a discussion:

Q: How hard is it to onboard with CloudMonix?

A: Onboarding is incredibly simple.  Setup Wizard takes 4-5 minutes to complete.  CloudMonix comes pre-defined with a number of useful metrics and alerts, so that it brings value right out of the gate.  Configuration Templates offer ability to easily propagate similar monitoring setups across many resources in 2 clicks.

Q: Is there an automatic migration from AzureWatch to CloudMonix?

A: Unfortunately there is not.  However, default monitoring profiles are pre-packaged with a number of useful metrics and alerts.  And everyone who has migrated so far, appreciated the chance to revisit and improve their monitoring setups

Q: What Azure resources can CloudMonix monitor/automate?

A: CloudMonix supports monitoring the following resources (ARM and Classic mode is supported)


  • Windows and Linux VMs
  • Cloud Services
  • Web Apps and Webjobs
  • Service Bus Topics and Queues
  • SQL Azure and SQL Data Warehouse
  • Azure Redis Cache
  • DocumentDb Collections
  • Azure Storage (Blob, Queue, Table and File storage)
  • Stream Analytics and Event Hubs
  • Media Services
  • Azure Automation Runbooks
  • Backup Vaults
  • Virtual Networking
  • Scheduler
  • And more coming (Data Factories, Azure Batch, Scale Sets, Azure Search, Service Fabric, etc.)
  • CloudMonix can also monitor various non-Azure resources, such as Oracle, MySql, Sql Server (non-Azure), Windows Servers (non-Azure), Sockets, URLs, and JSON/XML API endpoints



clock May 9, 2015 13:55 by author Igor Papirov

Short version

AzureWatch is now over four years old and is a little... dated.  In order to keep up with our customers' needs and with innovations in Azure, we recently introduced a brand new monitoring product designed to replace AzureWatch.  The product is called CloudMonix and it is available at  CloudMonix enhances Microsoft Azure by providing deep monitoring of most of Azure's infrastructure via live dashboards, ability to self-heal from many different production issues, on-demand historical performance and uptime reports, customizable alerts & notifications, sophisticated auto-scaling engine, integration to third party systems, and a lot more.  CloudMonix is not yet available in Azure Marketplace.


Long version

Five years ago, I set out on a journey to help Azure developers auto-scale their Azure systems.  AzureWatch, a product that I built for that purpose, was originally a Windows desktop application that allowed users to dynamically scale their Web and Worker roles with demand - a feature that Windows Azure lacked back in the day.  

Over the years, AzureWatch was continually enhanced to meet ever-growing customer needs.  As my team grew with the customer base, so did AzureWatch's feature set.  We migrated AzureWatch from a desktop app to a fully hosted cloud solution.  We added monitoring capabilities and live dashboards.  AzureWatch was enhanced to monitor SQL Azure, Storage, Websites and Virtual Machines.  Unfortunately, with each iteration of changes and features, we twisted and adopted AzureWatch to do something it was never meant to.  Ongoing maintenance became hard and time to innovate long.

As market conditions changed and need for auto-scaling decreased, due to basic auto-scaling features being introduced in Azure core platform, it was obvious that we needed to offer customers something more substantial and special.  After looking thru the backlog of customer requests, a few patterns clearly emerged, where we saw that we could add a ton of value

  • Very fast onboarding and intuitive UI.  No one has time to learn complex systems that don't work from the get-go
  • Deep insight into all levels of technical stack, not just servers. Cloud platforms offer many useful services and they all need to be considered in the overall health of a production system
  • Automatic self-healing.  While healing procedures are usually simple to script out (reboot server, restart service, clear cache, recycle app pool, truncate table, etc.), knowing WHEN to execute these procedures can be really challenging.
  • Ability to compare & contrast performance, uptime, and other metrics over time.  
  • Provide value not just for Azure but other cloud systems for shops that manage or utilize different cloud platforms

Taking into account that AzureWatch's back-end needed to be re-architected to become much more adaptive at monitoring new and different systems and AzureWatch's front-end UI needed a lot of work to become user-friendly, the decision to re-architect the whole product became a no-brainer.  So, in summer of 2014, we set out on a journey to re-invent ourselves and provide a new kind of SaaS service: "Stability-as-a-Service" to cloud production environments with a delightful user experience and backed by our amazing support.

Fast-forward to today.  We delivered and in some ways over-delivered on all of our goals with the release of CloudMonix in March of 2015.  All lessons learnt in the years of maintaining AzureWatch came in handy.  CloudMonix has automatic self-healing and enhanced auto-scaling engines; amazing and responsive UI; ability to integrate with other 3rd party systems; future support for public API, data-region affinity; in-depth monitoring of a number of popular Azure services and ability to develop others very quickly.  There is more, much more.  With a few known exceptions, CloudMonix far exceeds AzureWatch in features and functionality from the get-go and continues to evolve and expand very quickly.

I invite you experience CloudMonix for yourself at and tell us what you think.

Igor Papirov
Microsoft Azure Insider
Paraleap Technologies

Major enhancements to AzureWatch Rules engine

clock March 11, 2014 11:47 by author Igor Papirov

A number of important changes are being introduced to AzureWatch this weekend (March 16th):

  • Ability to execute rules only after a sustained period of time
    • This feature allows for much better control of the scaling process.  For example, in certain situations it can be far more effective to scale when sustained load is over a certain threshold rather than try to predict what a moving average looks like.  It is important to know that if a rule is configured with a sustained time delay, it will only be executed after continuously being evaluated to TRUE for the specified period of time.
  • Ability to send ON and OFF alerts (a single ON email when alert evaluates to TRUE, and a single OFF email when it evaluates to FALSE)
    • This feature reduces spam when a certain rule's condition is continuously TRUE.  It also simplifies configuration since ON/OFF alerts no longer require throttling.  Unless modified, existing Alerts will work as they currently do.
  • Separation of Alerts from Management Actions (rules that notify will be separated from rules that execute scale actions, shutdowns, restarts, etc.)
    • This feature is relatively important as it may impact existing rule sets.  Going forward, rules that are Alerts will be evaluated separately from rules that are Management Actions.  When evaluating rules, all Alerts that qualify for execution will be evaluated and acted upon, not just the first one. Management Actions will continue to be evaluated until the first rule that qualifies for execution. Users who currently rely on Alerts to control execution of their Management Actions will want to revisit their scaling configurations.  We do expect percentage of such users to be either very small or non-existent.
    • After the upgrade, we plan to monitor AzureWatch's email queues and switch highly spamming Alerts to have ON/OFF logic.  Impacted customers will be notified.

While we expect minimum impact during or after the upgrade, we want to be transparent with our users: this is probably the most significant change to the Rules engine since the inception of AzureWatch. If you have any concerns, please contact Paraleap support team

Upcoming changes to the way alerts work in AzureWatch

clock January 28, 2014 12:08 by author Igor Papirov

We are currently working on changing the way alerts work in AzureWatch.  At this time, Rules for a monitored resource, that trigger either Alerts or Management Actions are ALL evaluated together in a single loop.  When a single Rule is evaluated to TRUE, all further evaluation of rules for that resource stops.  This will be changing going forward.  ALL rules that trigger alerts will be evaluated, regardless of their success or failure.  Only rules that contain Management Actions will be evaluated to the first TRUE rule.

Furthermore, we will be adding the following two options to the Rule engine:

1) Ability to send ON/OFF notifications for Alerts.  This means that when a condition for a Rule is TRUE, AzureWatch will send out an "Alert ON" alert and subsequently when the condition for a Rule no longer is true, AzureWatch will send out an "Alert OFF" alert.

2) Ability to trigger Rules (Alerts or Management Actions) only after a sustained period of time.  This means that when a condition is TRUE, a particular Rule will not be immediately acted upon.  Only if Rule's condition has been evaluated as TRUE for the specified period of time, will it trigger it's Alert or Management Action.

Monitor Windows Azure Service Dashboard!

clock January 22, 2014 23:28 by author Igor Papirov

AzureWatch users can now receive notifications when changes are published to the Windows Azure Service Dashboard.  Upon logging into AzureWatch portal, users can choose to subscribe to any of the Azure Service Dashboard feeds as shown in the screenshot below.  This feature is available free of charge to active AzureWatch users.


AzureWatch Dashboard notifications

New Dashboard is here!

clock November 11, 2013 10:35 by author Igor Papirov

Users logging into AzureWatch Management Portal last week found themselves pleasantly surprised.  We've completely overhauled our dashboard.  It is now a robust, configurable user experience designed to provide users with an ability to quickly and intuitively see all of the relevant and important monitored data for their Azure applications.  Check out a screenshot cutout or simply login with your account to experience the new interface


Introducing preview of auto-scaling, healing, and monitoring of Azure VM's (IaaS)

clock July 23, 2013 12:55 by author Igor Papirov

We are excited to introduce the long-awaited AzureWatch support for monitoring, manage, auto-scaling and healing of Azure Virtual Machines.  We are soft launching this functionality in preview mode and are looking for your feedback!


Functionality Overview:

Every minute of every hour, AzureWatch will connect through Powershell Remoting to any Azure VM's that is either stand-alone or a part of an availability set.  Once connected, it will capture any number of standard or custom Windows performance counters that have been configured by you and execute its usual suite of monitoring or scaling Rules.  After the Rules execute, AzureWatch can execute scaling, re-imaging, stop/start and alerting actions. Please refer to the following table to see what actions are supported under what conditions:


 Performance CountersQueues & Other MetricsAuto-ScalingAuto-RebootingAuto-Stop/StartAlerts
Stand-alone Windows VMs Supported Supported   Supported Supported Supported
Stand-alone Linux VMs   Supported   Supported Supported Supported
Windows-based Availability Sets Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported
Linux-based Availability Sets   Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported


It is important to know that stand-alone Virtual Machines cannot be auto-scaled because they are not load-balanced by Windows Azure.  However, when a VM is part of an Azure Availability Set, it can be scaled up or down, provided that there are enough shutdown VM's that exist within the Availability Set.  During the scale-up event of an availability set, AzureWatch finds the next available VM that has been turned off and simply starts it up.  Conversely, when an Availability Set is scaled-down, AzureWatch simply finds the last active VM and shuts it down so that charges are not incurred.


The following must be done in order to have AzureWatch properly monitor Azure VM's:

AzureWatch currently supports capture of performance counters only from Windows-based VMs that have Powershell Remoting enabled.  Powershell Remoting port 5986 must be open within the Windows Firewall on the server itself.  In addition, a public endpoint mapping to local port 5986 must be defined in the Azure configuration of each monitored Virtual Machine.  Azure's public port can be any number.

Users who wish to auto-scale or auto-shutdown/start-up their VM's based on a schedule or queue counts, do not need Powershell Remoting enabled and are not limited to running Windows Server.

AzureWatch brings SaaS/HaaS App Monitoring and Autoscaling Service to the Windows Azure Store

clock June 26, 2013 12:00 by author Igor Papirov

Arlington Heights, IL

As a featured add-on in the Windows Azure Store, AzureWatch provides on-demand elasticity, healing, monitoring and just-in-time provisioning of resources – saving time and money

Paraleap Technologies
, a developer of high performance tools and services for cloud computing technology, today announced that their flagship product, AzureWatch, is now offered as an add-on option in the Windows Azure Store, part of the Windows Azure management portal. Developers and IT professionals can now easily implement AzureWatch’s dynamic scalability, healing and monitoring to their applications running on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform.

As one of the first autoscaling and monitoring services available, AzureWatch has proven itself to be a responsive and affordable service continuously improving and expanding its features. Earlier this year AzureWatch released its newest version which simplified the configuration process and in April expanded services again to offer healing-as-a-service (HaaS) for Windows Azure. HaaS now allows AzureWatch to automatically reboot or re-image servers saving clients time and money on servers that leak memory, disk space or other resources.

As an add-on available through the Windows Azure Store, IT pros can now quickly deploy AzureWatch from inside the Windows Azure management portal. The availability of AzureWatch through the Windows Azure Store helps deliver fast and cost-saving Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and HaaS-based monitoring and autoscaling of applications running in Windows Azure. Designed with a focus on simplicity and ease of use, AzureWatch can be quickly configured to address each customer’s unique monitoring needs. By automatically scaling Windows Azure services to match real-time demand, AzureWatch saves customers time and money and eliminates the need for manual monitoring of Windows Azure-based resources.

“The Windows Azure Store is an integral part of the developer experience and makes it easy for developers to find and purchase add-ons to help create great applications,” says Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President, Windows Azure, Microsoft. “We are pleased to welcome Paraleap to the Windows Azure Store and look forward to giving developers access to Paraleap’s monitoring and autoscaling technologies for their applications.”

“The future of information technology rests in the cloud; Microsoft has long been a global leader in providing a secure open cloud platform. With more and more companies moving services and solutions to the cloud, it is crucial that they have access to the comprehensive monitoring services that AzureWatch provides. Offering AzureWatch through the Windows Azure Store enables us to educate developers and IT pros on the important work we do and extend our services as developers build, deploy and maintain their applications.” says Igor Papirov, founder and CEO of Paraleap Technologies.

“We have been using AzureWatch for close to a year to monitor our Windows Azure app. It is an essential part of our tool belt,” says Hector Obregon, CEO of “The daily performance reports and metrics history have helped us solve many problems and the e-mail notifications work great, we have those feed directly into our support desk.”

Pricing and Availability 

AzureWatch pricing is simple, affordable and based solely upon what is monitored. AzureWatch is offered in five packages to Windows Azure customers: 

  • Free Package: monitors up to 500 unit-hours per month - free 
  • Basic Package: monitors up to 5 units per month - $39.90 per month 
  • Plus Package: monitors up to 10 units per month - $74.90 per month 
  • Super Package: monitors up to 25 units per month - $159.90 per month 
  • Ultra Package: monitors up to 100 units per month - $549.90 per month


About Paraleap Technologies 

Paraleap Technologies is a Chicago-based software company focused on providing tools and services for cloud computing technologies. As the Paraleap’s flagship product, AzureWatch is designed to add dynamic scalability and monitoring to applications running on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform.

Healing-as-a-Service for Windows Azure

clock May 21, 2013 22:00 by author Igor Papirov

We are pleased to introduce a number of exciting new features to AzureWatch!

Support for multiple Azure subscriptions

Users can now instrument a single AzureWatch account to monitor and auto-scale any number of Azure Subscriptions (previously the limit was one).  Furthermore, users no longer need to transfer all of their diagnostic data into a single storage account.  AzureWatch will automatically detect which storage account a particular Role is transferring its diagnostic data to.  This should simplify account management, billing and configuration steps for AzureWatch users.


Support for alerts based on conditions of individual servers

In addition to receiving alerts based on metrics aggregated across all servers within a compute Role, AzureWatch users can now receive alerts based on conditions of individual servers.  This can help support personnel quickly pin-point problematic servers and take appropriate action.


Support for self-healing!

In addition to generating alerts for individual servers, AzureWatch can now automatically reboot or re-image servers!  This is particularly useful for servers that are leaking memory, disk space, or other resources.


Enhanced support for multiple mailboxes

AzureWatch can now send alerts to multiple mailboxes at an account level.  Furthermore, each individual alert can be further customized to be sent to more mailboxes if needed. This lets AzureWatch users send alerts of different priority levels or areas of responsibility to different contacts.


In Detail

Each rule now has a flag (1) that allows it to inspect metric data server-by-server OR aggregated across all servers within a Role.  If a Rule is inspecting metric data across all servers within a Role (the default scenario) it can auto-scale servers within that Role and send out alerts based on general conditions of all servers within a Role.  However, if users choose to evaluate a particular rule on an individual server basis, it  can reboot or re-image servers instead (2).  This is obviously very useful for conditions related to memory leaks, fragmented or leaking disk space, accumulating "stuck" IIS requests, etc.  While AzureWatch uses Azure Service Management API in order to request rebooting and re-imaging of servers, users should exercise caution and consider putting appropriate thresholds or throttling in place to avoid inappropriate reboots.  

When performing any sort of an action based on Rule (scaling, rebooting, or simply alerting), AzureWatch will send notification to every mailbox specified at the account level.  However, more mailboxes can be configured at an individual Rule level (3).



When Azure reboots a server (role instance), it will take it offline, restart the underlying operating system for that server, and brings the role instance back online. Any data that is written to the local disk is persisted across reboots. Any data that is in-memory is lost.

When Azure reimages a server (role instance), it will take it offline and write a fresh installation of the Windows Azure guest operating system to the virtual machine. The instance is then brought back online. Windows Azure attempts to maintain data in any local storage resources when the server is reimaged; however, in case of a transient hardware failure, the local storage resource may be lost.  Any data that is written to a local directory other than that defined by the local storage resource will be lost when the instance is reimaged.

Support for monitoring and auto-scaling of Azure Websites

clock April 9, 2013 15:01 by author Igor Papirov

Last week was very exciting for us at Paraleap:

  • First, we revamped our website with a crisp and modern look.  If you have a few minutes, please share with us your thoughts on the new design.
  • Second, we soft-launched a major new feature to AzureWatch: support for monitoring and auto-scaling of Azure Websites.  Users can now receive alerts or automatically scale the number of instances dedicated to Windows Azure websites.  There are no agents to install and no code to redeploy.  We simply hook into the Azure Service Management API, grab the running totals for standard metrics, extrapolate their rates of change and take this data through our rule-based monitoring and scaling engines.  Users can configure alerts and scale rules using the already familiar interface of AzureWatch Management Portal.

AzureWatch is Overhauled to Simplify and Expand on Monitoring and Autoscaling for Windows Azure Apps

clock March 6, 2013 02:09 by author Igor Papirov

Expanding on its popular line of monitoring products, Paraleap Technologies today announced public availability of the newest edition of AzureWatch, a monitoring and autoscaling service for applications running on top of Microsoft’s Windows Azure. The newest version introduces AzureWatch Management Portal that simplifies the configuration process allowing companies to quickly establish monitoring and autoscaling rules that save time and money. Updates in this version include:

• Revamped online interface that no longer needs desktop installation or agent software 
• Support for monitoring of SQL Azure, SQL Federations, Service Bus, and Azure Storage 
• Support for monitoring of websites and SSL certificates 
• Live performance dashboards 
• Streamlined configuration setup featuring revamped Setup Wizard

Since 2010 AzureWatch has provided monitoring and autoscaling solutions to hundreds of companies that rely on the Windows Azure platform. “With more and more companies moving services and solutions to the cloud, it is crucial that they have access to comprehensive monitoring services,” said Igor Papirov, founder and CEO of Paraleap Technologies. “Any minute when the health of your applications is compromised can impact not only your company’s bottom line but its reputation as well.”

“We have been using AzureWatch for close to a year to monitor our Azure app. It is an essential part of our tool belt,” says Hector Obregon, CEO of “The daily performance reports and metrics history have helped us solve many problems and the e-mail notifications work great, we have those feed directly into our support desk.” Designed with a focus on simplicity and ease of use, AzureWatch can be quickly configured to address each customer’s unique monitoring needs. By automatically scaling Azure services to match real-time demand, AzureWatch saves customer’s time and money and eliminates the need for manual monitoring of Azure based resources. More information and a free preview are available at

About Paraleap Technologies 
Paraleap Technologies is a Chicago-based software company focused on providing tools and services for cloud computing technologies. As the Paraleap’s flagship product, AzureWatch is designed to add dynamic scalability and monitoring to applications running on Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

Impact of the Azure Storage outage caused by expired SSL Certificates

clock February 26, 2013 00:08 by author Igor Papirov

As everyone is probably aware, Windows Azure suffered a world-wide Azure Storage outage on Friday 02/22/2013.  This outage was caused by an expired Microsoft SSL certificate.  The outage impacted Azure Storage, Azure Websites, Service Bus, Media Services, ACS, and Azure Management Portal and lasted for approximately ten hours.

AzureWatch monitors remained active during the outage.  Customers who monitored their storage accounts with "Alert on Failure" option turned on, began receiving alerts at approximately 8:32PM UTC (well in advance of any outage notice on Microsoft's Azure Dashboard).  

It is important to point out that AzureWatch's monitoring was impacted because key metrics located within our customers' Azure deployments were inaccessible.  Furthermore, AzureWatch Management Portal was unavailable because it currently relies on Azure Storage.  To help mitigate our outage, our engineers were available via recently implemented online chat interface to provide extra support to customers logging into our portal.

Overall, this outage yet again underscores the importance of monitoring.  No cloud provider will have a perfect up-time record.  Thus, the faster you know that something is wrong, the faster you can react with a contingency plan.  Even if you do not require all the sophisticated features of AzureWatch, we suggest that you at the minimum use our simple but effective free monitoring utility AzurePing that can send you alerts when it is unable to access your Azure resources.

AzureWatch Management Portal - Customer Preview Invitation

clock October 25, 2012 20:55 by author Igor Papirov

Things have been very busy at Paraleap Technologies.  Since the start of summer, we have been working on creating a new version of the AzureWatch configuration and monitoring interface.  The result of this effort is a great-looking AzureWatch management portal, preview of which I am proud to invite you to try.  In the forthcoming months, we will be decommissioning our legacy Windows-based Control Panel application and migrating all of our customers onto our new AzureWatch management portal.

The online portal can be found here
Instructions for usage can be found here
Sign-up link for free trial account can be found here
We would appreciate your candid feedback about our new portal.  Your feedback has been the main driver behind majority of the AzureWatch features in the last two years and we plan to continue to innovate and deliver additional value to you and your organization!

Important release notes about the preview of our new online AzureWatch management portal
  • Please keep in mind that the functionality offered during the customer preview phase may contain minor bugs and is subject to change. Let us know if you encounter anything strange!
  • For existing customers, all of your current configuration and monitoring data in the new portal is live and is configurable via the new interface - simply use your existing credentials to login
  • New setup Wizard contains a lot more default rules for monitoring of SQL Azure, Storage and URLs.  The Wizard can also be invoked at any time, not just when new deployments have been detected
  • The dashboard screen now self-updates once per minute (no more clicking on the Refresh button)
  • Creation of monitoring rules has been streamlined: no need to define Raw metrics upfront.  Simply create your aggregate metrics and use them in Rules
  • Greater visibility into your AzureWatch billing history and consumption
  • Once migration is complete, client-side agent-based monitoring option will be sunset along with the desktop Control Panel.  We will only continue to support our cloud-based monitoring.  We will work with the handful of you who are utilizing client-side monitoring so that we can migrate you over to our cloud-based monitoring.
Our desktop Control Panel has been around for nearly two years and it's eminent deprecation will enable resolution to certain nagging issues that have persisted throughout the lifetime of the service
  • No more installation issues related to Windows 8 incompatibilities, firewalls, or anti-virus warnings
  • No more login issues related to inaccurate time-clock on local Windows computers
  • No more intermittent resolution-related issues that caused our UI to look misaligned
  • No more account lockouts due to password-reset related issues
  • Full accessibility of AzureWatch monitoring tools on non-Windows machines and tablets
Please feel free to visit the new AzureWatch management portal at and don't forget to click on the "Beta Feedback" to provide us with your ideas and comments.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in our service!

Igor Papirov
President & CEO
Paraleap Technologies


SQL Azure Federations - active monitoring setup and instructions

clock April 8, 2012 21:25 by author Igor Papirov

We are excited to introduce support for active monitoring of SQL Azure Federations!  Federations is one of the newer members to SQL Azure family.  Capable of mega-scale and unlimited size, SQL Azure Federations allow customers to distribute their data and processing power across multiple federated members (shards). While each federated member is a unique database, connecting to and keeping an active monitoring eye on all of these databases is challenging.  By using AzureWatch, database administrators can now actively monitor all federated members and be immediately notified when any one of them is getting too large, too slow, or needs other special attention.  

Experienced AzureWatch users and newcomers alike will find the setup of SQL Azure Federations to be relatively simple.  A new option on the navigation explorer enables entry of federations that need to be monitored.  

Enter the required credentials and make sure that your desktop PC has firewall access to your SQL Azure federated databases, so that the locally running AzureWatch Control Panel can connect and verify the information

Once the monitoring is running, AzureWatch will query the root database and all federated members once per minute in order to store, aggregate and evaluate vital statistics.  At the time of this writing AzureWatch will gather the following:

  • Database Size
  • Number of open transactions
  • Number of open connections
  • Number of blocking queries
  • Number of federated members (root database only)


In order to send out alerts when important events happen, AzureWatch will need to know how information needs to be aggregated, for how long and what are the rules that govern the generation of each alert. Users will want to decide if metrics need to be aggregated across all federated members together or by individual federated member.  For example, it may be important to know when any one of federated members has exceeded a certain size as this may be an indicator to consider a SPLIT of that federated member.  Alternatively, users may want to know when the total number of blocking queries against all federated members exceeds a certain threshold as this may indicate a problem with the application itself and would require further investigation.

This article will walk through the configuration of an alert that would trigger when any one of the federated members has exceeded 10GB in size.

Alerts generated by AzureWatch will trigger when Rules evaluate to TRUE.  Each Rule consists of a custom boolean formula that compares aggregate metrics.  For the example at hand, an aggregate metric defined by Federation Member must be setup to aggregate the Database Size raw metric.  To do so, create a new aggregate under the By Federation Member\Aggregate Metrics section as shown in the example below.

Final step, the configuration of the actual Rule that would send out an alert

The alert Rule is represented by a formula that uses aggregate metrics as variables and sends out an Email notification when its formula evaluates to TRUE.  In order to prevent a barrage of emails, setting a threshold for how frequently such emails would be sent might be prudent.  (In our example no more than once per 20 minutes)

Active monitoring of Azure Storage, websites, and SQL Azure

clock March 7, 2012 00:46 by author Igor Papirov

In the last few weeks, we released a colossal amount of new features to AzureWatch! Active monitoring of Websites, Azure Storage accounts, and SQL Azure databases just to name a few. We've also drastically improved capabilities of our Rules engine to allow for more complex rules.  In addition, we improved our Android and Mobile applications to allow for more streamlined access at seeing Azure application's health from smartphones.

For over a year now, AzureWatch has been helping customers with monitoring and auto-scaling of their systems in Windows Azure.  We're very excited about the new capabilities of our service and are looking forward to working on our next major featureset: implementation of monitoring of SQL Azure Federations.

Monitor your Azure Storage accounts with new version of AzureWatch!

clock March 5, 2012 22:17 by author Igor Papirov

Version 2.0.2 of AzureWatch introduces new capability to the product: monitoring and alerts of key performance and connectivity characteristics for Azure Storage accounts.

Once a minute, AzureWatch will connect to queue, blob and table storage endpoints of monitored Azure Storage accounts, and attempt to create and then purge a test queue message, a test blob, and a test table eneity object.  AzureWatch will capture key performance indicators as well as any storage errors that occur so that you can be notified immediately of any problems.


Setup instructions:

Find Azure Storage section in the Control Panel explorer


Add new Storage Account by right-clicking in the Azure Storage listing area



These simple steps will make sure that AzureWatch emails you if it was unable to perform all of its monitoring actions within the Timeout specified.  In addition, if you'd like to know when Azure Storage is simply slowing down, create an aggregate and a rule around the ResponseTime_msec metric:


To create an aggregate, simply visit Aggregate Metrics screen under Azure Storage section of Explorer:


And finally, get notified by a Rule when this aggregate is outside a safety threshold:

AzureWatch now supports SQL Azure Monitoring!

clock February 23, 2012 01:07 by author Igor Papirov

We are happy to announce that AzureWatch now supports SQL Azure monitoring!  Please view the release notes below for detailed information on new features rolled out in AzureWatch v2.0.  

We have spent a lot of time working on this release as it lays down the foundation for us being able to monitor not only SQL Azure databases, but also other resources such as AppFabric Cache namespaces, Azure Storage accounts, and even availability and performance characteristics of public web pages.  We are planning to release support for these features in the next weeks as our development and quality assurance processes complete.  

You can download the latest version of AzureWatch Control Panel configuration tool here and view sample instructions regarding setup of monitoring for SQL Azure here
AzureWatch v2.0 Release Notes
  • Ability to monitor SQL Azure databases (extra charges may apply)
    • Get notified on connection failures
    • Monitor blocking queries
    • Monitor response times
    • Monitor database size
    • Monitor open connections
    • Monitor open transactions
  • Enhancements to the Rules engine include
    • Access current date & time during rule evaluation.  This can help with scheduling of events
    • Interrogate quantity of raw metrics aggregated during the rule evaluation.  This can help with sophisticated running-averages
  • Metric Reports have been enhanced
    • Metric data and charts are now shown in local time zone rather than UTC
    • Reports can be quickly viewed by using a predefined range dropdown
    • Charts have been redesigned to show more data
  • A number of smaller bugs fixed throughout the AzureWatch Android app, our reporting mobile site and the Control Panel configuration utility


Monitoring SQL Azure - setup instructions

clock February 22, 2012 23:50 by author Igor Papirov

SQL Azure Monitoring

The actual setup of SQL Azure monitoring is fairly straightforward.  Upon successful upgrade to the latest version of Control Panel (v2.0 at the time of this post), simply visit the newly available SQL Azure option in your Control Panel explorer.
Add databases to be monitored by right clicking anywhere in the SQL Azure Instances window.
SQL Azure monitoring setup
Fill out connection information for your SQL Azure database
SQL Azure connection information
Upon successfull setup of a SQL Azure database, AzureWatch will automatically instrument the capture of five key metrics: Database size, # of Open connections, # of Blocking Queries, # of Open Transactions and general Response Time.
It is time to aggregate the metrics over some periods of time, so that AzureWatch can properly alert you in case your Rules trigger.
Setting up of aggregations is performed via the next option in explorer: Aggregate Metrics.
SQL Azure rule evaluation
Color ranges will help AzureWatch highlight key metrics on the dashboard
And finally, the setup of alerts can be performed from the Rules screen located underneath Aggregate Metrics
SQL Azure alert
Congratulations! We just instructed AzureWatch to notify us if in the last 5 minutes our SQL Azure database was running any blocking queries.


Free Azure resource-monitoring utility: AzurePing

clock October 25, 2011 07:49 by author Igor Papirov

We are pleased to announce the release of AzurePing: a free Azure resource-monitoring utility.  AzurePing is a simple Windows Service that pings any number of Azure Storage resources, SQL (Azure) databases, and web URL's on a continuous basis.  Any errors are logged through log4net framework via a variety of appenders, such as email, SQL, flat files, Trace, etc.  For those not familiar with log4net, it is a popular open-source logging framework that can store logging entries to a variety of extendable appenders.

To find more information about AzurePing, visit our website at

And please help us spread the word about AzurePing!

Stay informed about health of your Azure apps with an RSS feed!

clock May 8, 2011 10:16 by author Igor Papirov

We just rolled out a new feature for AzureWatch: an RSS feed containing information about the health of your Windows Azure application.  Simply login to our website and visit the Monitoring tab. From there on, you will be able to subscribe to an RSS feed specific to a particular Windows Azure Role or to all Roles at the same time.  

With the proliferation of RSS readers out there, you'll be able to check on the health of your Azure application at a moment's notice and without any effort.


Azure Monitoring RSS preview

New support forums and new version of AzureWatch

clock May 5, 2011 10:50 by author Igor Papirov

There are a few developments with AzureWatch, an autoscaling and performance monitoring service for Windows Azure applications, that you may be interested in:

  • We have a new Q&A support forum, with friendly design inspired by  I invite you all to participate, not only if you have AzureWatch specific questions, but also if your questions are about Windows Azure in general.  Our goal is to have this forum serve as another place to brainstorm autoscaling, monitoring, or other important Windows Azure-related architectural strategies.
  • Work continues on the mobile version of AzureWatch that is geared toward showing statistics and reports on smartphones and tablets running HTML5!
  • I will be demonstrating AzureWatch at the Azure Users Group on June 8th, 2011.  Join me!
  • Latest version of AzureWatch released into production over this weekend contains a small but handy new dashboard snippet that shows color-coded Ready statuses of all your monitored Azure instances.


Instance Statuses on Dashboard

AzureWatch v1.1.0 released

clock April 15, 2011 17:00 by author Igor Papirov

We are pleased to announce that v1.1.0 version of AzureWatch has been pushed to production.

In this release we have added support for gathering of custom metrics from web-points provided by you.  This is a fairly important and powerful feature.  In order to be able to monitor even greater variety of metrics, we can now poll web-pages located within your application.  We expect that these web-pages would provide AzureWatch with a simple XML containing metric values.  Certain metrics are just best suited to be polled.  Examples would be: size of SQL Azure database, number of registered users, number of placed orders in the last 24hrs or any other metric that is more associated with your application rather than a particular Azure instance.  As you launch AzureWatch Control Panel tool, you will notice new "External Links" screen that will allow you to enter URL's for these web-pages.  Expected XML format is provided right on the instructions screen (it will also be published on our website).  This feature is currently considered to be in beta.

Another, perhaps minor, but very useful new feature, allows you to throttle scaling events or email notifications at a finer level of detail.  In addition to a global cool-down timer for scaling events, each rule now has its own "delay" timer that would prevent its execution for a period of time.  This is very useful to prevent notification rules from firing too frequently and generating a flood of emails, or to allow Scale-Down rules to have different cool-down timers vs. Scale-Up rules.

We are also working on a version of a mobile application geared toward smartphones and tablets running HTML5!

As a reminder, if you did not get a chance to read our last newsletters:

  • We have relaxed our Free Trial conditions.  All previously expired trial accounts that have not used 500 monitored hours are active again!  Login to our website and see if your account is again active! 
  • AzureWatch can now monitor your Azure deployments directly from its cloud-based servers.
  • Latest version of our configuration tool can be found here.


Custom Performance Counters support

clock March 20, 2011 09:00 by author Igor Papirov

We continue to innovate at a rapid pace.  Latest (v1.0.56) version of AzureWatch has been released.  Two key new features are:

  • Support for custom performance counters.  This feature allows AzureWatch users creation of scaling rules, notifications and alerts based upon highly customizable developer-created performance metrics.  For more information on creation of custom performance counters, visit this helpful blog.
  • Copy & Paste functionality for metric and rule setup.  This feature makes it easier for setting up similar metrics and rules across deployments with many roles.

If you did not get a chance to read our last newsletters:

  • We have relaxed our Free Trial conditions.  All previously expired trial accounts that have not used 500 monitored hours are active again!  Login to our website and see if your account is again active! 
  • AzureWatch can now monitor your Azure deployments directly from its cloud-based servers.
  • Latest version of our configuration tool can be found here.

As always, thank you for your continued interest in AzureWatch.  We appreciate you spreading the word about our service and welcome you to contact us with any questions, issues, or suggestions.


Server-side AzureWatch is released!

clock March 15, 2011 09:00 by author Igor Papirov

Thanks to your feedback, we are relaxing our Free Trial conditions.  We are pleased to announce that all trial accounts are now eligible for 500 free instance-hours or 14 days of unlimited usage - whichever is less restrictive.  Therefore we are activating all previously expired trial accounts that have not exhausted the 500 hour limit.  Login to our website and see if your account is now active!  Latest configuration tool is available for download here.

More news: you are no longer required to host on-premise monitoring agent.  AzureWatch can now monitor your Azure deployments directly from its cloud-based servers.

We have done a significant amount of work on handling certificates.  If you were having issues before with setting up certificates, we encourage you to try again.  For your convenience we have also published a small article on how to setup certificates with AzureWatch here.

Users running server-side beta-client, please update your clients to latest version found at here
And finally, AzureWatch system is backup from tonight's planned downtime.  The outage lasted approximately one hour.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

As always, thank you for your continued interest in AzureWatch.  We appreciate you spreading the word about our service and welcome you to contact us with any questions, issues, or suggestions.

Get informed about the health of your Azure applications "on the go"

clock February 21, 2011 17:09 by author Igor Papirov

Here is a tip that most administrators of Azure websites and applications will find invaluable.  Thanks to the scheduling features of AzureWatch, application administrators can setup up to receive regular email updates with all the key metrics that AzureWatch is monitoring for their Azure applications.  All it takes is a subscription to AzureWatch and a minute or two.

If you would like to receive email with latest peformance indicators values for your Azure application at certain intervals, say at 9am and 12pm and 3pm, simply configure three rules that always evaluate to true (ie: '1=1') to run between the hours of 8:59-9:01am, 11:59am-12:01pm and 2:59-3:01pm (assuming your rule-checking frequency is every 60 seconds).  Mark the rules as "Notification only" instead of "Scaling based", move them to the top of the sequential list and publish your changes. Take care to not make the time-ranges too wide, to avoid getting flooded with emails. AzureWatch will now execute new rules between the very narrow time ranges and email you values of all the variables it is tracking.

Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud's Elasticity is Enhanced by Chicago-based Paraleap Technologies

clock January 26, 2011 12:28 by author Igor Papirov

Paraleap Technologies created a unique Elasticity-as-a-Service offering designed to help applications running in Azure capitalize on the pay-for-use model of Microsoft's cloud technology.

Arlington Heights, IL January 26, 2011 -- Paraleap Technologies, a Chicago-based software company specializing in cloud-computing solutions, is proud to announce the long anticipated release of its flagship product AzureWatch, designed to provide dynamic scaling to applications running on Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

After nearly a year of development and testing, AzureWatch is released with a purpose to deliver on true value of cloud computing: provide on-demand elasticity and just-in-time provisioning of compute resources for applications running in the cloud. By automatically scaling Azure compute nodes up or down to match real-time demand, AzureWatch gives customers confidence that their applications will automatically handle spikes and valleys in usage.

"Elasticity of compute resources is one of the primary driving forces behind the cloud computing revolution," says Igor Papirov, Founder and CEO of Paraleap Technologies. "Not only can our customers take advantage of this awesome benefit of the cloud by using our technology, but they can do so in under 10 minutes and without writing a single line of code."

Built with focus on simplicity and ease of use, AzureWatch can be setup in just minutes. While architected with a powerful and scalable engine to enable elasticity, AzureWatch also provides monitoring, alerts and comprehensive reporting services. Offered as a hybrid software-as-a-service, AzureWatch is available at and comes with a simple and affordable pricing model that can be used free with a 14-day trial period.

About Company
Founded in 2010, Paraleap Technologies is a Microsoft Bizspark startup specializing in software services for enabling cloud computing technologies. AzureWatch is Paraleap’s flagship product, designed to add dynamic scalability and monitoring to applications running on Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

Contact Information
Igor Papirov, Founder & CEO
Paraleap Technologies

Our first newsletter!

clock November 29, 2010 19:35 by author Igor Papirov

We are extremely excited to publish our very first newsletter.  It has been a month since the release of AzureWatch into public beta and the response has been overwhelmingly positive and constructive. Although the first day was somewhat rough since we managed to make a typo in the download URL(!), the month overall has been very productive and exciting. 

Since the initial announcement on November 1st, AzureWatch monitored over 3,000 compute instance hours and captured and analyzed over a million of performance metrics!  Furthermore, we have deployed over ten patches and one major release with brand new functionality which I would like to inform you about.

As of Friday, November 26th, AzureWatch was updated to support two important new features:

  • Historical reports.  Access to historical graphs and reports of your performance counters and other metrics.  With this feature, you are able to see historical values of your metrics for up to a month visually on a chart or in a table format.  You can drill down to actual raw values or simply look at the hourly or daily averages - all with just a few clicks of a button.  You can export or print the data too!
  • Tracking of instance statuses.  In addition to performance counters and queue lengths, AzureWatch now tracks instance counts by status.  It can differentiate between "Ready", "Busy", "Unresponsive", and other Azure Instance statuses.  You can now create rules using those metrics.  Want to get notified if any of your instances have become Unresponsive?  No problem, make a simple rule for that.  Want to scale UP if the number of Ready instances is below a certain threshold?  No problem, make a rule for that too.

We remain on target with releasing AzureWatch in production early in 2011.  We would like to thank you for your continued support and ask you to keep those bug reports and feature requests coming!

Dynamic scaling has arrived for Windows Azure

clock November 1, 2010 09:00 by author Igor Papirov

Paraleap Technologies, a Chicago-based emerging provider of cloud computing tools and services, is introducing technology preview of its flagship product, AzureWatch.

AzureWatch works with the Microsoft cloud platform and adds dynamic scaling capabilities to applications running under Windows Azure.  With AzureWatch, IT no longer has to worry about wasting money by over-provisioning resources, or experience slowdowns because Azure servers are overburdened.  This elastic scaling functionality that AzureWatch brings to the table is the key ingredient that brings out the power of Microsoft's cloud platform, allows for significant cost savings and guarantees consistent expectations to users. 

"We're absolutely thrilled to be coming out with AzureWatch on the heels of latest Azure-related announcements at Microsoft's PDC 2010", says Igor Papirov, founder of Paraleap Technologies.  "Windows Azure platform is getting better and more mature every day and our product completes the list of key features by providing automatic provisioning of compute resources to Windows Azure applications"

To learn more about AzureWatch or to participate in the free technology preview, log onto Paraleap Technologies’ web site at

Paraleap Technologies Joins Microsoft® BizSparkā„¢ program!

clock October 15, 2010 03:35 by author Igor Papirov

Paraleap Technologies is proud to announce that it became a partner in Microsoft® BizSpark™ program designed to accelerate the success of emerging startups by providing key resources such as software, support and visibility.

“We are very excited to participate in the BizSpark program,” says Igor Papirov, Founder of Paraleap Technologies. "Thanks to the program we now have better access to cutting edge software and services and can concentrate on building cutting edge products targeting Microsoft Windows Azure platform"

About Paraleap Technologies

Founded in 2010, Paraleap Technologies is an emerging Chicago-based startup, focused on providing tools and services for cloud computing technologies.
AzureWatch is Paraleap’s flagship product, designed to add dynamic scalability and monitoring to applications running in Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

Paraleap Technologies Brings the Cloud Down to Earth

clock September 22, 2010 01:19 by author Igor Papirov

Paraleap Technologies, an emerging startup specializing in cloud computing technologies, empowers cloud developers with new tools. The company’s AzureWatch, a service designed to work in Microsoft Azure environments, adds a new dimension to the world of the Microsoft cloud.

Cloud computing is a strategy of making use of compute resources, including applications, infrastructure, and platforms, which are available from third-party providers’ data centers and delivered over a secure Internet connection.  In the early days of cloud computing, the advantage of cost savings was the “low hanging fruit” of the cloud, and businesses embraced it early on to take advantage of that bottom-line benefit. But the advantages go far beyond the cost factor, delivering remarkable ease of use, and access to resources from any location and any computer.

Because the cloud allows users to take advantage of a third-party resource pool, it immediately becomes possible to take advantage of more resources than would otherwise be available in a company’s own in-house data center. AzureWatch helps developers create applications to take full advantage of this potential, with the addition of instant and transparent scalability.

Older systems always required a defined set of resources to be dedicated to a task. The problem with that approach though, was that you never knew for certain whether that task would require more, or fewer resources at any given time. The inevitable result was over-provisioning—which led to wasted and underutilized resources and unnecessary expense. The cloud, as implemented with Microsoft Azure and enhanced with Paraleap Technologies’ AzureWatch, overcomes this wasteful approach by allowing for instant and automatic scalability of resources. If your Azure instances see a demand spike, your capacity will automatically increase—regardless of whether that spike was expected or a complete surprise. By the same token, if you experience a slowdown for any reason, the system will ramp down resource usage.

Applications that vary in usage demand by the month, week, or even by the hour are common. The automatic scaling functionality added by AzureWatch ensures that you always have the capacity you need, at any time.

Visit Paraleap Technologies online at for more information on AzureWatch.