Real-time Distributed Tracing in Azure to fasten troubleshooting

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The adoption of microservice architecture for building complex solutions on Azure is the trend these days. Although it offers greater scalability and reliability when compared to monolithic architectures, it becomes difficult to see how the data flows across the independent services involved in an application.

Distributed Tracing was introduced to mitigate this significant drawback. So, this article will give you a high-level view of distributed tracing and points out a way to effortlessly achieve it for Azure/Hybrid applications built on top of microservice architectures.

Distributed Tracing:  Why is it crucial?

Using distributed Tracing, we can visualize a user request's path as it traverses through multiple services within an application. The top benefits of Distributed Tracing include,

  • Track how a user request travels across multiple services
  • Visualize how the services in an Azure/Hybrid application interact with one another
  • Pinpoint critical bottlenecks with a unified view of the data flows
  • Get to keep a close watch on the overall health of your business workflows
  • Instantly identify the service that is causing performance disruption in the overall application
  • Reduce the Mean time to Recovery (MTTR) to a greater extent
  • Increase productivity by investing more time innovating and less time troubleshooting

What are the commonly used methods to achieve Distributed Tracing?

App Insights in Azure Monitor

App Insights are often used to understand better how various services involved in an Azure application interact.

Drawback: There is no way to trace or visualize the path of the messages flowing through those services.

Custom Tracing tools

It's also a prevalent practice for organizations to build their custom and tracking solutions.

However, the real issue is that it consumes more time, requiring more workforce and demanding Azure engineers to write code for building custom tools rather than allowing them to focus on more productive tasks.

That is how the necessity of enterprise-grade tracing tools emerged to avoid the difficulties in building custom tracing tools.

Finding an apt Distributed Tracing Tool

Serverless360 BAM (Preferred Solution)

Serverless360 is an enterprise-grade Azure management platform that unifies Azure monitoring, management, tracing, governance, and cost analysis - all in one place.

Business users can leverage the BAM module in Serverless360 to track, visualize and pinpoint issues in the message flow across the distributed Azure/hybrid integrations services.

Other than offering Distributed Tracing, Serverless360 does solve a few major pain points in using native-Azure monitoring tools,

- Lack of holistic visibility on Azure services distributed across Subscriptions

- It doesn't offer proactive monitoring to enable faster troubleshooting

-   - No features to auto-document the resource usage, cost, and security

    - It doesn't support performing an in-depth analysis on the expenses incurred by Azure services

With that said, let's now explore every nook of Serverless360 BAM and find how it can be helpful in your business scenario.

Out-of-the-box functionalities in Serverless360 BAM

Visualizing the message flow

BAM from Serverless360 visualizes your workflow, simplifying the correlation of messages passing through your intricate integrations. This way, get an abstract view of the underlying complexities of all the components involved in such Azure/Hybrid integrations.

The message flow will be tracked at every stage to help you spot any failures; the stages will also be color-coded based on their status

Visualizing the message flow

Reprocess the failed message transactions

Every transaction in your business workflow will be monitored, which makes it easier to pinpoint the problem and fix failure message transactions. However, given the many transactions involved, focusing only on the unsuccessful ones could be challenging. When this occurs, Serverless360 displays the complex transactions in a separate "Action required" tab.

You can rapidly access the failed message transactions, change the required value, and then reprocess them for a successful resubmission.

Reprocess the failed message transactions

Advanced Search

No more going through multiple message transactions to retrieve the business-critical ones. Serverless360's BAM supports using simple queries to fetch the data in no time.

Also, eliminate manual effort by saving any number of frequently applied queries for later use.

Advanced Search

Extended monitoring support

With Serverless360, you can monitor the message flow and its stages on various aspects with warning/error thresholds, intending to send alerts whenever there is a threshold violation. The platform comes with three different types of monitoring – Exception, Query, and Duration Monitor.

Exception Monitoring: Alerts will be triggered if exceptions occur within a specified period. For instance, you can set up exception monitoring in such a way as to get notified in case of any exceptions occurring in the last 20 minutes.

Exception Monitoring

Query Monitoring: Monitor the performance of your entire business workflow on different queries. Say, when the number of failures detected within a given period exceeds the threshold limit, you can opt to get either a warning or an error alert.

Query Monitoring

Duration Monitoring: Set threshold values to receive warning/error alerts when a message transaction consumes more time than expected.

Duration Monitoring

Alerts generated by all these monitors are segregated into a separate tab, highlighting their status (Sent or Failed). So, you can ensure that no warnings are missed simply due to minor mistakes while configuring the notification channel.

Intuitive KPI Dashboards

There are various scenarios a message transaction would fail. So, it would be hard to spot why a transaction has failed and its root cause.

That's why Serverless360 offers a customizable plug-and-play dashboard, letting you visualize the tracked data in the form of colorful charts. With this, detect anomalies at a glance and take the necessary corrective actions.

Intuitive KPI Dashboards



  1.      Improve security by auditing every action performed on your Azure services associated with Serverless360 BAM
  2.      It provides RBAC to enable fine-grained access management
  3.     Boost productivity by assigning failed message transactions to appropriate stakeholders for performing the remedial actions  

BizTalk BAM

BizTalk BAM is a collection of tools that allow you to manage aggregations, alerts, and profiles to monitor relevant business metrics. It gives you end-to-end visibility into your business processes, providing accurate information about the status and results of various operations, processes, and transactions so you can address problem areas and resolve issues within your business.


To conclude, choosing an enterprise-grade tracing tool is more efficient than building custom tools, considering the time and manual work it demands. So, this blog sheds light on one such tool - Serverless360 BAM, which provides complete visibility on the message flow, letting you detect and resolve critical issues by providing insights on their root cause. 

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