Setting up Application Performance Monitoring is a big task, but like
everything else it can be broken down into simple steps. You have to know
what you want to achieve and subsequently where to start. So let’s start at
the beginning and take a top-down approach
Know What You Want
The first thing to do is to be clear of what we want when monitoring the
application. Let’s face it: we “do not want to” ensure CPU utilization
to be below 90 percent or a network latency of under one millisecond. We are
also not really interested in garbage collection activity or whether the
database connection pool is utilized. We need to monitor all of these things
in order to reach our main goal. And the main goal for this article series is
to ensure the health and stability of our application and business services.
To ensure that we need to leverage all of the mentioned metrics.
What ... (more)
Anyone who ever monitored or analyzed an application uses or has used
averages. They are simple to understand and calculate. We tend to ignore just
how wrong the picture is that averages paint of the world. To emphasis the
point let me give you a real-world example outside of the performance space
that I read recently in a newspaper.
The article was explaining that the average salary in a certain region in
Europe was 1900 Euro's (to be clear this would be quite good in that
region!). However when looking closer they found out that the majority,
namely 9 out of 10 people, only ea... (more)
(Note: If you’re interested in WebSphere in a production environment, check
out Michael's upcoming webinar with The Bon-Ton Stores)
Most articles about Garbage Collection ignore the fact that the Sun Hotspot
JVM is not the only game in town. In fact whenever you have to work with
either IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic you will run on a different runtime.
While the concept of Garbage Collection is the same, the implementation is
not and neither are the default settings or how to tune it. This often leads
to unexpected problems when running the first load tests or in the worst case... (more)
In my last article I explained what a major Garbage Collection is. While a
major Collection certainly has a negative impact on performance it is not the
only thing that we need to watch out for. And in case of the CMS we might not
always be able to distinguish between major and minor GC. So before we start
tuning the garbage collector we first need to know what we want to tune
for. From a high level there are two main tuning goals.
Execution Time vs. Throughput
The first thing we need to clarify if we want to minimize the time the
application needs to respond to a request or if we... (more)
Last time I explained logical and organizational prerequisites to a
successful production level application performance monitoring. I originally
wanted to look at the concrete metrics we need on every tier, but was asked
how you can correlate data in a distributed environment, so this will be the
first thing that we look into. So let’s take a look at the technical
prerequisites of successful production monitoring.
Collecting data from distributed environment
The first problem that we have is the distributed nature of most
applications. In order to isolate response time problems or... (more)