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WebLogic Application Performance Metrics Collection Using JMX and OpenView Performance Manager/Performance Insight

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The technology of Java Management Extensions (JMX) is easy to use, uniform, and cost-effective. It permits access to specifics about application health, configures or manipulates manageable resources, and allows leveraging of a custom management tool for an application into a more comprehensive management application such as HP OpenView. Anand Ganesan and Rajal Shah provide an overview of this business-critical JMX technology in this timely article.
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The introduction of the Internet and intranets has brought a new class of applications to provide user access to the backend traditional systems through a web interface. These new applications are business-critical and rapidly evolving, and they must perform better and increase end user satisfaction and profit. Such enterprise systems are made up of diverse applications that vary in architecture, and have functionality that is increasingly complex, distributed, and business-critical. But as the application complexity increases, so does its manageability. This manageability factor includes an application's capability to control and monitor, which allows IT operations personnel to monitor its health and performance, predict and reduce failure, help in the analysis of failure, and correct and report failures.

Java Management Extensions (JMX) is an easy-to-use, uniform, and cost-effective technology. It permits access to specifics about application health, configures or manipulates manageable resources, and also allows you to leverage a custom management tool for an application into a more comprehensive management application such as HP OpenView.

This series consists of two articles: This article provides an overview of JMX technology; the second one will present a technique for building manageability for collecting performance metrics into WebLogic applications with HP OVPI/OVPM.

Application Management

Application management includes the capability to expose management information to monitor applications on a periodic basis to make sure that the application is functional, to gather performance statistics for analysis, and to accommodate administrative tasks from an operations personnel perspective (such as starting or stopping the application, or changing a configuration element). In practice, manageability helps operations personnel to monitor the health and performance of the system, predict when problems arise, effectively tackle and resolve any problems, and change the state of a software component without restarting it.

The benefits of application management are as follows:

  • Less application downtime: When an application goes down, access to high-quality information about the root cause of the problem helps restore the application more quickly—thus reducing downtime.

  • Tuning for optimal performance: By evaluating the performance data that represents the current state of the application, it can be determined when an application is not performing within the defined thresholds. Gathering such data over a period of time helps fine-tune the application for optimal performance.

  • Efficient IT operations: By having manageability built into the applications, IT personnel can quickly identify any problems and resolve them.

Building application manageability using JMX provides an infrastructure required to monitor and operate the application.

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