Applications Performance Management and Monitoring tools enable code-level observability, faster recovery, troubleshooting, and easier maintenance of any .NET service.
Measuring the performance of .NET applications is handled by tracking logs and performance metrics from all around the infrastructure in a logical manner. This allows for understanding errors in context and tracing them across the infrastructure to the root cause.
.NET enables the development of applications for almost any platform, which even further emphasizes the need for a reliable APM.
The market offers a lot of APM for .NET applications, ranging from open source and free to enterprise-ready SaaS platforms. Let's take a look at some of the best .NET performance monitoring tools in 2023.
1. Better Stack
Better Stack is a structured log management platform based on ClickHouse. It collects logs from .NET applications using Nlog. With Better Stack, collecting and monitoring logs in real-time using Live Tail is a matter of minutes. Better Stack's advanced built-in collaboration features, use of resource-efficient ClickHouse, and visually pleasing, dark-mode UI help you to spend less time debugging and focus on shipping higher-quality software faster.
Better Stack Logs is a part of the Better Stack ecosystem, and together with Better Stack Uptime, they create a complete observability solution with incident management built-in. With one-click Better Uptime integration, you can easily alert on-call team members of any irregularities in your application's behavior. Be it a specific log message error or a predefined usage trend
Dynatrace offers .NET and IIS performance monitoring, including databases, services, and browser data. Dynatrace's OneAgent automatically maps the .NET application stacks and allows it to capture performance data and visualize it in preconfigured dashboards.
Dynatrace collects a wide range of metrics about the health and performance of .NET apps, ranging from garbage collection to Network traffic.
Sentry offers monitoring features for errors in C#, ASP.NET, and ASP.NET Core applications. Sentry offers SDK instrumentation for .NET applications and offers integrations with additional features such as SQL Client, log4net, or transaction and performance monitoring.
Sentry's monitoring collects breadcrumbs, feedback from user behavior, and enriches events by storing additional files such as config and logs.
SAM monitors multiple critical metrics and enables to overview, monitor, and improve both application performance and health and discover potential performance and availability issues before they occur. SAM also handles application servers and infrastructure monitoring.
SAM monitors the following: Memory usage, Thread processor time, Locks, Exceptions, Connections, Security, Network, JIT compilation, CLR loading stats, Process/working set, page faults, throughput, latency, and cache.
Retrace from Stackify is an APM solution allowing for assessing the overall app performance and tracking also the performance of external services such as SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, AWS, Azure, and Redis.
Retrace offers an APM solution alongside log tagging, analysis, and structured logging in a predefined .NET format. Retrace automatically collects all framework and dependency details tracks every SQL query performed within the app and profile, and understands the performance of async code.
.NET profiler from ANTS allows monitoring of the performance data of.NET code and also database performance for SQL and NoSQL databases. It also provides enriched data about outbound HTTP requests in the context of the .NET code running the request itself.
ANTS offers a call three feature capable of finding the slowest activity and identifying all the performance issues related to it. It can also profile C# or any other .NET supported code to evaluate its impact on the whole application. C# profiling also offers performance information about async methods and the impact they have on the application. PRO edition also offers advanced features such as third-party performance monitoring or methods grouping by the HTTP request. ANTS starts at more than $500/user, which makes it unavailable for most users.
Cisco's Appdynamics offers .NET applications diagnostics, which automatically discover, visualize, and map the whole application ecosystem. It's capable of diagnosing the root cause of errors in real-time, detecting async programming patterns, and monitoring microservices.
AppDynamics captures device errors, crashes, and network requests across the whole architecture, including databases. It also collects and monitors end-user behavior and experience metrics.
Miniprofiler is a simple monitoring tool for .NET, Ruby, Go, and Node.js apps. It easily profiles ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, EF Core, Entity Framework 6, and SQL. Server. Miniprofiler is available on Github.
JetBrains' dotTrace detects performance issues in .NET applications. Its profiling capabilities get accurate data on call execution, get call time data bound to data, and analyze individual performance issues. It can also profile SQL queries and HTTP requests, static methods, and unit tests. dotTrace can profile, view performance timelines, and analyze call stacks directly in Visual Studio. dotTrace is a part of the dotUltimate bundle.
Opserver is an open-source monitoring platform built by Stack Exchange. It's capable of monitoring CPU, Memory, Network, and hardware stats. According to its documentation, it can monitor SQL Server Clusters & Single instances, Redis, Elasticsearch, Exception Logs, or HAPorxy.
.NET enables the creation of complex platforms which can easily grow in both size and complexity. APM tools are integral for reaching observability, troubleshooting underlying performance issues, and preventing unexpected outages across the entire application stack. These tools allow for safe and data-backed expansion and scaling of .NET apps without bottlenecks occurring due to the app's growing complexity and scale.
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