How do I know why my Azure instance doesn't start?

I deployed my service package into Windows Azure. Management Portal has been showing "waiting for the role instance to start" for 30 minutes already so I assume something is wrong.

I know that there's Azure Diagnostics, but is there some easier way to find what's going on in my instance - like some console displaying some detailed output or something?

Answer1:

@dunnry The problem is that you can't open a RDP session to the server if your Azure Role is not running, so you don't know anything what is going on.

Most of the times there is something wrong in your Azure Configuration files. Try removing parts and redeploy afterwards. Pay triple attention to your ConnectionStrings. Make sure that the ServiceDefinition ConfigurationSettings are all defined in the ServiceConfiguration ConfigurationSettings File.

What we basically do is to deploy on a nightly build basis. We can check our ChangeSets of the day before after an instance is not reaching the running state.

Answer2:

In these cases, it is probably the most expedient to simply RDP into the box and see what is going on. Event logs, hitting the site, etc., from inside the machine usually gives you a pretty good idea. If you have Intellitrace (Visual Studio Ultimate), you can also enable that and suck down the logs to see what is happening. That works very well also.

Answer3:

If the Azure Diagnostics doesn't tell you anything then I don't think so - no. Somewhat annoyingly, one thing that frequently causes problems is Azure Diagnostics initialization - e.g. if the diagnostics connection string is wrong.

If the role instances start but the app has problems then the remote desktop might help.

If all else fails, try Azure support - it's still free right now.

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