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Weblogic: Article

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to WebLogic 9

What are you waiting for?

Reason 3: WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST): Good News for Admin Guys!
WebLogic 9 features an impressive command-line administration tool that is standards based (Jython) and offers powerful capabilities, such as:

  • Navigation and editing of the domain configuration, including user-created and non-WebLogic Server MBeans
  • Obtaining run-time information about the domain
  • Performing various administrative tasks such as deploying applications, starting/stopping servers via the Node Manager, etc
WLST deprecates weblogic.Admin in WebLogic 9, though the latter is still fully supported.

Reason 2: Work Manager and Thread Self-Tuning: Where Is the Execute Queue Concept?
All of the senior J2EE developers have done performance tuning to some extent. In previous versions of WebLogic Server, processing was performed in multiple execute queues. Different classes of work were executed in different queues, based on priority and ordering requirements, and to avoid deadlocks. Users have to control thread usage by altering the number of threads in the execute queues. Now the execute queue concept has been replaced by Work Manger. WebLogic 9.0 implements the Work Manager 1.1 Specification. There is a single thread pool in which all types of work are executed. WebLogic Server prioritizes work based on rules you define and run-time metrics, including the actual time it takes to execute a request and the rate at which requests are entering and leaving the pool, which will provide greater throughput and increased response time. The Work Manager API enables an application to break a single request task into multiple work items, and assign those work items to execute concurrently using multiple Work Managers configured in WebLogic Server. Applications can configure scheduling guidelines (for example, module A should get 70% of CPU time, module B can be "shutdown" if the thread stacks) that WebLogic Server will use in conjunction with data collected on actual run-time performance to schedule CPU resources for the application. Applications no longer have to configure individual thread pools for specific components; instead, they can rely on WebLogic Server to monitor, tune, and allocate these resources.

Among the key self-tuning features in WebLogic Server are:

  • Workload management - Administrators can define scheduling policies and constraints at the domain level, application level, and module level.
  • Automatic thread count tuning - A thread pool can maximize throughput by automatically changing its size, based on throughput history and queue size
  • Thread scheduling functionality - WebLogic Server 9.0 implements the common work manager API, exposing thread scheduling functionality to developers. Applications can also use the Work Manager API to execute work asynchronously and receive notifications on the execution status.
One very nice feature we have to emphasize here is the overload protection. BEA is always trying its best to move ahead of the customer, and overload protection is one of the excellent examples of this effort. WebLogic 9.0 provides two type of protection here.

Type 1: Graceful degradation - overload protection

  • Work rejection based on low-memory and queue-capacity thresholds (Table 1)
  • Critical systems maintained at the expense of noncritical
  • Deny rather than degrade when overloaded
Type 2: Graceful failure - when all else fails, nuke server
  • Option to shutdown/suspend server on critical failures such as deadlocks, OOME
  • Well-defined exit codes for scripting
  • Ability to specify stuck thread actions
Reason 1: It's All About Performance, Performance, Performance, Stupid!
Of course performance is the always the number one driver to the purchasing decision, migration, and upgrade.

SPECjAppServer2004 is the standard benchmark for evaluating the J2EE application server. BEA WebLogic 9.0 achieves the best SpecjAppServer2004 performance results in the J2EE world. The result of 3,328.80 JOPS, which is reported by Sun instead of BEA, holds new highest record. For the latest SPECjAppServer2004 results, visit the SPEC results page: www.spec.org/jAppServer2004/results/res2005q4/ jAppServer2004-20051122-00024.html. You can clearly tell who the top market player is. So what about WebLogic 8.1 - is WebLogic 9.0 faster than WebLogic 8.1 and earlier releases?

BEA creates the Server Performance Index (SPI) to compare the relative WLS from release to release. Similar to the "Dow Jones," the SPI of WLS performance is calculated by looking at a basket of representative performance benchmarks composed of micro and application benchmarks, and then calculating the geometric mean of these benchmarks relative to a baseline. The internal data shows that WLS 9.0 is 17 percent faster than WLS 8.1 SP4 by this measure. Also by leveraging the new WebLogic 9 capability to support new hardware, O/S, and database system, it is possible to gain much higher performance. While the effort for boosting a higher performance is never ending, obviously WebLogic 9 will give you a solid gain at the current stage.

With so many new features in WebLogic 9.0, the reasons to migrate to this new WebLogic Server are so overwhelming, what are you waiting for? Let's do it. Besides, you can always get BEA's professional services and technical support when you need it, so there is no more excuse not to, right?


More Stories By Hank Li

Hank Li, PhD (Wayne State University), has more than 10 years of software development experience and has solid project management experience in developing large-scale J2EE Applications. He has participated in developing an MDA tool to automatically generate J2EE applications based on domain models. Now he is working as DRE for BEA Systems. His new hobby is AJAX/WEB 2.0 technologies.

More Stories By Henry Chen

Henry Chen earned his PhD degree from University of Texas. He has been working for BEA for six years supporting enterprise customers on various BEA products, and currently is the senior manager of the Worldwide Service Division.

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Most Recent Comments
Teja 05/14/08 01:09:54 PM EDT

Excellent way to describe weblogic 9.x product features and at the same time much into technical explanation gives over view to all dev and admin to know more abt it .

Thanks again .


news desk 02/25/06 09:27:51 AM EST

WebLogic Server 9.0 is the most significant BEA Java application server release to date. Fully compliant with J2EE 1.4, this release tackles head-on the biggest challenge facing enterprise networks today: reducing overall cost of management and operations while delivering high reliability, continuous uptime, scalability, and mission-critical integration solutions.

news desk 02/23/06 08:35:14 PM EST

WebLogic Server 9.0 is the most significant BEA Java application server release to date. Fully compliant with J2EE 1.4, this release tackles head-on the biggest challenge facing enterprise networks today: reducing overall cost of management and operations while delivering high reliability, continuous uptime, scalability, and mission-critical integration solutions.

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