How to Keep Your .NET Application’s Blood Pressure at Healthy Levels?

Microsoft .NET Framework is one of the most popular application development platforms and programming languages. C# and ASP.NET frameworks are used by millions of developers for building Windows client applications, XML Web services, distributed components, client-server applications, database applications, and much more. Ensuring top-notch performance of .NET applications is a foremost need for any ASP.NET web application development company or C# development company. This can be achieved through an optimized design and regular health checks of the apps. 

Health monitoring can allow developers to obtain near-real-time information about the state of the containers and microservices. Health monitoring is critical to multiple aspects of operating microservices and is especially important when orchestrators perform partial application upgrades in phases. Microservices-based applications often use heartbeats or health checks to enable their performance monitors, schedulers, and orchestrators to keep track of the multitude of services. 

If the app is unable to return an “I’m alive” signal – either on demand or on schedule – it is considered to be at risk.The problems are mostly noticed when new updates are deployed in the app. If the system is not healthy, it will report the failures too late and the developer will be unable to stop the cascading failures that can eventually result in major outages.

.NET applications can be slow or rusty for a number of reasons. These include incorrect memory sizing, GC pauses, code-level errors, excessive logging of exceptions, high usage of synchronized blocks, IIS server bottlenecks, and so on. 

Problems Plaguing .NET Development and How to Troubleshoot Them to Improve Memory of .NET Applications

ASP.NET we application development is often fraught with various problems that can be resolved by taking timely actions. The most common issues that usually strike ASP.NET development include:

1. Exceptions and Logs One Too Many

.NET exceptions are not a bad thing, but errors are. If a large number of exceptions are properly handled in an application, they can result in inefficient code and further affect application performance. Hidden exceptions are even worse as, if left unchecked, they can affect the web page load time.

Another common issue in .NET development is excessive logging of the exceptions. Logging could be a great tool in an application’s debugging arsenal to identify abnormalities recorded at the time of application processing. However, when logging is set up to catch exceptions at every tier of the application architecture, one could end up having the same exception logged at the web, service, and data tiers. This could add additional load to the application code and increase response time. Logging everything, including informational messages, debugs, and warnings, can easily bloat the production log file and affect code processing.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Make sure the C# code has “try catch finally” blocks to handle exceptions.
  • Leverage exception filters available in C# 6 and above, which allows for specifying a conditional clause for each catch block.
  • Check for null values and use TryParse to avoid potential exceptions.
  • Pay attention to second-chance exceptions, as these indicate that the first-chance exceptions came up and they weren’t handled properly.
  • Use exception handling and logging libraries such as Enterprise Library to log exceptions to a file or a database.
  • Make sure to log only the important exceptions that are needed and do not bloat the log file.

2. Overuse of Thread Synchronization and Locking

The .NET Framework offers many thread synchronization options such as inter-process mutexes, Reader/Writer locks, etc. At times, a .NET developer could write the code in a manner that one thread might get serviced at a certain time while other parallel threads need to wait in queue for processing. 

Synchronization and locking help serialize the incoming threads for execution. By creating a synchronized block of code and applying a lock on a specific object, an incoming thread is required to wait until the lock on the synchronized object is available. This is a very helpful strategy in most situations, but it should not be overused. Serialization of too many threads can lead to an increase in the wait time of incoming threads and end up slowing down user transactions. 

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Use synchronized coding and locks only when necessary. Understand the need for the code execution before using locks.
  • Scope the duration of locks optimally so that they do not hold other threads in wait for a long time.
  • To reduce concurrency issues, consider using loose coupling. 
  • Monitor the .NET code using various tools in order to identify whether the thread locks are causing slow application processing.

3. IIS Server Bottlenecks

Microsoft IIS Server is an essential component of the .NET framework. It is the web server that hosts applications or websites built on .NET and responsible for running W2WP process to respond to incoming requests. IIS also incorporates the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which is responsible for meting out resources for thread processing.

Since IIS has various moving parts, a bottleneck in IIS can have a direct negative impact on the .NET application performance.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Right-size the IIS server so that there is no resource contention or overutilization of resources.
  • Load balance with the help of more IIS servers based on rate of incoming requests.
  • Track SSL certificate validity and get alerted proactively before a certificate expires.
  • Monitor every aspect of IIS Performance, application pools, websites, and identify any improper configuration or performance deviation, if any.

While taking timely action to improve the health and memory of any .NET application is absolutely essential, the primary thing to focus on is writing clean and efficient code. Good code goes a long way in keeping the systems and infrastructure in good health.

Implementing necessary tools that help automate processes is another step to achieving a well-functioning application. It is also essential to invest in a high-quality health reporting system that is customized for individual applications. All these things combined can help deliver a high-performing .NET application and digital experience. 

Summary: Microsoft .NET Framework is one of the most popular application development platforms and programming languages used today. For the applications developed using this platform to function optimally, regular health checks are essential. Timely health monitoring and corrective actions can ensure that the application runs smoothly, is up-to-date with the current trends, and has a good memory, which ultimately combine to contribute to a high performing application and digital experience for the user.