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Does Azure Debugging Cost Too Much?

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IntelliTrace is a powerful tracing framework built into Visual Studio 2010. It hooks directly into the .NET runtime, avoiding the messiness of manually instrumenting code or relying on IL-rewriters to insert logging for you. The information it captures is quite extensive, even catching all of the local variables on the stack when an event is triggered.

Since Azure’s architecture doesn’t support remote debugging and IntelliTrace logs can be shipped like any other file, Azure and InteillTrace make for a perfect match. All you have to do it just install Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio and enable IntelliTrace on your server roles.

Unfortunately the price for this wasn’t mentioned in the announcement. IntelliTrace is only available with Visual Studio Ultimate edition. At just under 12,000 per developer for a one-year subscription, it isn’t something most shops can afford. This is especially worrisome for the start-ups that are looking to Azure to help them manage growth.

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