In today’s complex and
integrated environments, the ability to determine the “health” of an
application quickly assumes high importance. The IBM Health Center is a light-weight profiling tool
that provides a comprehensive view of the “health” of various subsystems for
any Java based application.
engineers and practitioners can use the IBM Health Center tool to quickly identify any
performance bottlenecks which is specifically helpful in an agile development
environment. Designed to attach to a running Java process to explore what it is
doing, how it is behaving, and what you could do to make it happier.
The IBM Health Center attempts to answer some of the
following common questions that developers, performance engineers, service
personnel and WebSphere administrators often ask:-
What is my
Java application doing ?
Why is it
doing that ?
Why is my
application going so slowly ?
How can I make
it go faster ? Is my application scaling well ?
algorithm sensible ?
Do we need to
tune the Java Virtual Machine ?
configuration sensible ?
Is the system
Have I got a
memory leak ?
application about to crash ?
Classes, Environment, Garbage
Collection, Locking and Method Profiling, Native Memory, I/O are areas of JVM
activity which can be viewed and receive recommendations on, from the Health
Center tool. The Health Center
summary will indicate if there are any potential problems with the particular
subsystem (indicated in Red color), or tuning suggestions for optimizing the
subsystem further (indicated in Amber) and an indication of a healthy subsystem
(with no problems) denoted in Green color
The IBM Health Center not only provides a visualization
into the various subsystems of the JVM from a performance and reliability
perspective but also provides a set of recommendations that can be applied to
alleviate the identified problems. The performance overhead of the tool is
negligible and can be deployed on production systems.
The IBM Health Center is available via the IBM Support
Assistant framework. (www.ibm.com/software/support/isa/ )
version of Health
Center (version 1.3)
comes with some very useful new features. Options are available now in Health Center
for you to generate dumps (Heap Dump, System Dump and Java Dump) at Runtime for
more detailed analysis. For example, if the Health Center
reports increasing heap usage over time and indicates a possible memory leak,
you can generate a Heap Dump for further offline analysis.
Health Center 1.3 now supports enablement of
native trace points and the ability to disabling systems selectively to
configure data collection to only monitor areas of interest.
An interesting youtube
video providing a quick introduction to IBM Health Center: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tcktcl0qxs
The next couple of blog
posts on this subject will cover the steps to install and launching the IBM
Health Center and a detailed description of the various subsystems it profiles
and provides recommendations on.