Windows Server AppFabric Monitoring - How to create operational analytics reports with AppFabric Monitoring and Excel PowerPivot
One of the great (and major) features of Windows Server AppFabric is the out-of-the-box experience for monitoring WCF and WF based services. Gone are the days when an exception half way through a workflow instance could either 1) never be discovered or 2) take hours of creative efforts and ad-hoc debugging (not to mention the hair pulling that goes along with all this) to find out exactly what the issue was and why it happened. The AppFabric Dashboard does a pretty good job at exposing key execution statistics to the Administrator. But is it enough?
Since AppFabric went public with a Beta release back in early March I've been hearing from customers that although the AppFabric Dashboard is great to look at mostly the current state of the farm, it does lack some of the analytical, trend-focused aspects of monitoring a real-life environment. So, this article will explain what is involved in creating interactive analytical reports (or dashboards if you will) based on the monitoring data captured by AppFabric, and our old friend – Microsoft Excel…well, with its new addition, PowerPivot.