Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Multitiered Performance Evaluation with PerformaSure 1.6

Multitiered Performance Evaluation with PerformaSure 1.6

Imagine a commuter rail system that is controlled by an individual standing at the end of the track logging each train as it arrives. Without a comprehensive tracking system that pinpoints each train while en route, it would be impossible for that person to identify and troubleshoot train delays. Instead, that person is left to "shoot from the hip," guessing at the possible cause of the delay. Web applications have the same limitation. Without a tool that offers a comprehensive look at the entire Web transaction, Web developers are left to guess and point fingers, instead of resolving performance issues. That's where Sitraka's PerformaSure 1.6 really shines.

PerformaSure is a performance analysis tool designed for multitiered, J2EE-based Web applications developed in the BEA WebLogic environment. Where traditional performance test tools only identify that the transaction took a long time, PerformaSure identifies which step in the multitiered process is responsible for the slowdown. This helps to eliminate costly misdiagnoses and speeds corrective action. PerformaSure is the ideal performance diagnostic tool for developers and implementers of complex systems with multiple application servers, databases, and Web servers.

PerformaSure is not for everyone. The complexity of installation and configuration and the intense resource requirements will be too cumbersome for smaller shops. Also, PerformaSure requires the use of software agents that are tightly integrated into each application and Web server along a transaction's path. This may make enterprise developers leery about installing this tool on production systems. Still, in development and preproduction environments, PerformaSure will provide invaluable information as developers shake out the performance bugs in their applications. And the more complex the application, the more valuable PerformaSure becomes.

PerformaSure is comprised three main components: agents, the Nexus, and workstations. The PerformaSure Agents instrument the operating system and applications on each server. The agent is a vehicle whereby PerformaSure monitors various performance metrics of the system and of the specific applications and Java Virtual Machines in a distributed application. You will want to install agents at every step of the transaction's path, including the Web server, the application server, and the database server.

The PerformaSure Nexus is the central collection point for all of the monitored data. Based on our tests and on Sitraka's documentation, it is a resources-intensive application that is typically installed on its own system. Agents report their timing data to the Nexus, which correlates the events and stores the information in a database. During a load test of a distributed application, the Nexus will be deluged with information, so the processing and memory requirements are pretty high.

Making sense of all the data is the responsibility of the PerformaSure Workstation. The workstation is a GUI application that manages PerformaSure sessions, sets thresholds, and generates reports. It retrieves information from the Nexus and displays it graphically onscreen or in PDF reports.

How It Works
PerformaSure tracks a transaction through a distributed system, gleaning important performance metrics at every step of the way. In a simple Web application, a user visits a Web site and submits a request. That request is forwarded to a middleware application server, which in turn queries data from a database. From the user perspective, this all seems like a single, monolithic application. But behind the scenes, there are any number of systems working together to service the request. A delay in any of these will mean a delay in the user response time. Drilling down and identifying exactly which component is causing the delay is critical to identifying and correcting the bottleneck.

Traditional load and stress tests only identify overall application performance. However, by installing agents at each of these critical services, PerformaSure is able to not only report on overall system performance, but is also able to detect whether a performance problem is due to the network or to the application, to the database back end, or to slow server hardware. Pinpointing the exact source of the slowdown means less time is spent on troubleshooting.

We installed PerformaSure 1.62 on a Windows 2000 environment running BEA WebLogic 6.1. The version we had did not support the latest 7.0 version of WebLogic, which was disappointing. Supported application servers include BEA WebLogic Server 6.0 and 6.1. Web server support includes Apache 1.3.12 and other HTTP servers. (Note: PerformaSure v1.7 does support WebLogic Server 7.0.)

In addition to supporting these applications, PerformaSure includes operating system agents for AIX, Solaris, and Windows that track system resource utilization. This is essential for identifying whether or not a performance problem is due to the application or to insufficient or faulty hardware.

Overall, we were impressed with the amount and organization of the information provided by PerformaSure. The workstation software provided us with a wealth of information and troubleshooting control.

We had a love hate relationship with PerformaSure's installation. Installing the agents, Nexus, and workstation is incredibly easy, but configuring them to work correctly is not for the faint of heart. The problem is that getting the environment set up requires the QA engineer to manually modify the configuration files. Manually changing an Apache configuration file or monkeying with the JVM startup script is not our ideal of a smooth installation process. It would be nice if the Nexus, workstation and Agents had their own configuration utilities. Not to mention having to manually edit WebLogic configuration the files. In our case, where one test engineer set up the WebLogic environment and another installed and configured PerformaSure test tool, it became apparent that this is an enterprise test tool that requires an enterprise commitment.

When compared with competing products, such as CompuWare's ServerVantage, it is obvious that there is no simple way to simplify the configuration process. The good news is that once it is configured, everything should run smoothly. Then the bulk of your time will be spent analyzing results.

Overall, we give PerformaSure high marks in data acquisition and data organization - the two critical areas in performance optimization and troubleshooting. The flexibility in looking at your data and the simplicity of configuring projects will allow QA professionals to pinpoint bottlenecks quickly and easily. We did wish that configuring the PerformaSure software components were more streamlined.

Fortunately, once it's configured you won't have to deal with it. If you're concerned about Web application performance, PerformaSure will give you the information that you need instead of making you wait at the end of the line wondering why your train is late.

Company information
260 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 4L5
E-mail: [email protected]

For sales, service, and presales information:
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-663-4723

Test environment:
Windows 2000 environment running BEA WebLogic 6.1

More Stories By Ken Brady

Ken Brady is a senior test architect at KeyLabs, a full-service software testing and consulting firm. He specializes in developing enterprise IT QA and test methodologies, with a particular focus on security and penetration testing. Ken is a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) with over 10 years of experience in vendor and enterprise software development. (www.keylabs.com).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.