WebLogic Server Performance and Tuning

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Performance Tuning Roadmap

Performance tuning WebLogic Server and your WebLogic Server application is a complex and iterative process. The following sections provide a tuning roadmap and tuning tips for you can use to improve system performance:


Performance Tuning Roadmap

The following steps provide a roadmap to help tune your application environment to optimize performance:

  1. Understand Your Performance Objectives
  2. Measure Your Performance Metrics
  3. Locate Bottlenecks in Your System
  4. Minimize Impact of Bottlenecks
  5. Achieve Performance Objectives

Understand Your Performance Objectives

To determine your performance objectives, you need to understand the application deployed and the environmental constraints placed on the system. Gather information about the levels of activity that components of the application are expected to meet, such as:

Performance objectives are limited by constraints, such as

You will use this information to set realistic performance objectives for your application environment, such as response times, throughput, and load on specific hardware.

Measure Your Performance Metrics

After you have determined your performance criteria in Understand Your Performance Objectives, take measurements of the metrics you will use to quantify your performance objectives. See Load Testing Tools. The following sections provide information on measuring basic performance metrics:

Monitor Disk and CPU Utilization

Run your application under a high load while monitoring the:

The goal is to get to a point where the application server achieves your target CPU utilization. If you find that the application server CPU is under utilized, confirm whether the database is bottle necked. If the database CPU is 100 percent utilized, then check your application SQL calls query plans. For example, are your SQL calls using indexes or doing linear searches? Also, confirm whether there are too many ORDER BY clauses used in your application that are affecting the database CPU. See Operating System Tuning.

If you discover that the database disk is the bottleneck (for example, if the disk is 100 percent utilized), try moving to faster disks or to a RAID (redundant array of independent disks) configuration, assuming the application is not doing more writes then required.

Once you know the database server is not the bottleneck, determine whether the application server disk is the bottleneck. Some of the disk bottlenecks for application server disks are:

The disk I/O on an application server can be optimized using faster disks or RAID, disabling synchronous JMS writes, using JTA direct writes for tlogs, or increasing the HTTP log buffer.

Monitor Data Transfers Across the Network

Check the amount of data transferred between the application and the application server, and between the application server and the database server. This amount should not exceed your network bandwidth; otherwise, your network becomes the bottleneck. See Setting TCP Parameters With the ndd Command.

Locate Bottlenecks in Your System

If you determine that neither the network nor the database server is the bottleneck, start looking at your operating system, JVM, and WebLogic Server configurations. Most importantly, is the machine running WebLogic Server able to get your target CPU utilization with a high client load? If the answer is no, then check if there is any locking taking place in the application. You should profile your application using a commercially available tool (for example, JProbe or OptimizeIt) to pinpoint bottlenecks and improve application performance.

Tip: Even if you find that the CPU is 100 percent utilized, you should profile your application for performance improvements.

For more information about application profiling tools, see Performance Analysis Tools.

Minimize Impact of Bottlenecks

In this step, you tune your environment to minimize the impact of bottlenecks on your performance objectives. It is important to realize that in this step you are minimizing the impact of bottlenecks, not eliminating them. Tuning allows you to adjust resources to achieve your performance objectives. For the scope of this document, this includes (from most important to least important):

Tune Your Application

To quote the authors of Mastering BEA WebLogic Server: Best Practices for Building and Deploying J2EE Applications: “Good application performance starts with good application design. Overly-complex or poorly-designed applications will perform poorly regardless of the system-level tuning and best practices employed to improve performance.” In other words, a poorly designed application can create unnecessary bottlenecks. For example, resource contention could be a case of poor design, rather than inherent to the application domain.

For more information, see:

Tune your DB

Your database can be a major enterprise-level bottleneck. Database optimization can be complex and vender dependent. See DataBase Tuning.

Tune WebLogic Server Performance Parameters

The WebLogic Server uses a number of OOTB (out-of-the-box) performance-related parameters that can be fine-tuned depending on your environment and applications. Tuning these parameters based on your system requirements (rather than running with default settings) can greatly improve both single-node performance and the scalability characteristics of an application. See Tuning WebLogic Server.

Tune Your JVM

The Java virtual machine (JVM) is a virtual “execution engine” instance that executes the bytecodes in Java class files on a microprocessor. See Tuning Java Virtual Machines (JVMs).

Tune the Operating System

Each operating system sets default tuning parameters differently. For Windows platforms, the default settings are usually sufficient. However, the UNIX and Linux operating systems usually need to be tuned appropriately. See Operating System Tuning.

Achieve Performance Objectives

Performance tuning is an iterative process. After you have minimized the impact of bottlenecks on your system, go to Step 2, Measure Your Performance Metrics and determine if you have met your performance objectives.


Tuning Tips

This section provides tips and guidelines when tuning overall system performance:

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