Retrace: Agent Installation Overview, System Requirements, App Monitoring & Profiling

Below are the System Requirements and guides for installing an agent on your machine.

System Requirements

In order to make sure your installation goes smoothly, please verify these prerequisites:

  • Windows 2008 R2 and newer.
  • Supported versions of Linux include all major Linux distributions (Redhat, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and more).
  • You will need to install the Stackify Agent on each machine you intend to monitor.
  • Port 443 needs to be open, outbound only, for the device(s) you install the monitoring agent on.
  • Your environment may be either physical or virtual, and we also support Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, Azure, and many other cloud-based infrastructures.
  • Proxy servers require additional configuration to allow the agent to send HTTP traffic.

Installing the Agent

The Retrace agent is simply a lightweight service that runs on your Windows or Linux server, virtual machine, or Azure role. Once the agent is installed, it is responsible for all communication between the server and the Retrace hosted services. (https://s1.stackify.com)

When the agent is first installed, it does a deep discover process on your server to detect all running processes, services, web apps, disks / mount points, ethernet connections, and more. Each agent creates a secure outbound connection over port 443, which it uses for all communication with the Retrace Portal. (No inbound ports are required to be opened for Retrace  to work in your environment.)

You can find the instructions and links to download and install the by logging into Retrace and navigating to the Getting Started Page of the Settings Tab to find the following guides:

Monitoring Your Server and Apps

Upon installation, the agent will discover your server and the apps hosted on that server will be listed on the Apps page. Once you see your apps on this page, you will be able load the App’s Dashboard and configure monitors and alerts so you can be notified of any issues that may arise.  To get an overview of how App and Server monitors are configured, see the article Configuring Your First Monitors.

Profiling The Performance Of Your Apps

The Retrace agent comes with a light-weight profiler that attaches itself to the CLR process for certain applications. For .NET applications hosted within IIS, you only need to ensure profiling is enabled to automatically begin profile web transactions in your code. For certain types of apps, you may need to create some additional configuration to let the agent know if and how to profile certain apps.

Standard IIS Web Apps

You will only need to Enable the CLR Profiler to start tracking the performance of these apps. You can do this by editing the Stackify.ini file in the Retrace install directory or from the Server Settings within the Retrace Portal.

Self-Hosted/Non-Web Apps

If your app is not hosted with IIS, you will need to let the Retrace agent know to profile this application. Follow this guide to tell Retrace to track your app.

You will also need to follow these guides if you are trying to profile a Self-Hosted Web API or a Self-Hosted WCF Application.

If your app is a Windows Service, Scheduled Task or Azure Webjob, the profiler will not be able to use the typical request/response cycle of a web app to automatically profile your code. You will need to define transactions manually in order to profile these types of applications. Here is an overview of Overview Of Tracking Non Web Transactions.

.NET Core

.NET Core applications require a bit of extra configuration since they use Kestrel to manage the request pipeline in its own process. You will need to add the StackifyMiddleware to your Startup event and ensure profiling .NET Core applications is enabled for your device. Follow this guide to enable .NET Core apps.

Classic Application Pools

If you are using Classic IIS App Pools, you need to ensure your app is using the StackifyHttpModule. Follow this guide to Enable Classic IIS App Pools.