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  1. 1. Application Server Management ORACLE ENTERPRISE MANAGER 10g END TO END PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT OF ORACLE SOLUTIONS Julie Wong, Oracle Corporation INTRODUCTION The World Wide Web has dramatically changed the way we do business and has become an integral part of today’s world. Companies must satisfy the needs of increasingly demanding customers as modern technology has made it possible for them to perform tasks faster, remotely, and accurately. The goal of every e-business is to provide a high quality of service to their customers so that the potential rewards of satisfied customers, cost savings, and greater efficiency are realized. As the internet continues to facilitate every aspect of business processes, Web applications are becoming increasingly complex to manage. Businesses are faced with the difficult and arduous task of end-to-end management of Web applications that span widely heterogeneous systems. As business productivity levels continue to increase, the cost of business application downtime and poor performance can become an unacceptable and expensive reality. In effect, a critical factor of success of every e-business is to efficiently manage and optimize the availability and performance of their applications. Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Application Performance Management (APM) tools present a major shift in system diagnostics and monitoring of Web applications. APM tools provide a holistic solution that addresses the e-business challenges of service level management, rising administrative costs, maintaining customer satisfaction, and increasing revenues. Administrators have the ability to monitor their e-business systems from the top down and trace the experience of their end-users as they enter and navigate a Web site. Armed with knowledge of end-user, application, and transaction response times, administrators are able to proactively monitor their e-business system and pre-empt performance problems before they impact end-users and affect business profitability. Furthermore, Enterprise Manager (EM) lowers administrative costs by reducing the time spent on problem identification and resolution through simplified root cause diagnosis. Through Enterprise Manager’s complete instrumentation of the Oracle Eco-System, administrators are provided with an end-to-end approach to Web application monitoring and diagnostics. Combining APM tools with Enterprise Manager’s out-of-the-box system monitoring of application components provides a complete view of the availability and performance of the Web application stack. Furthermore, full integration of APM tools with Enterprise Manager’s framework extends system management capabilities beyond managing application performance. APPLICATION PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES E-businesses are faced with applications that have become widely distributed, complex, and expensive and time- consuming to manage. Customers and end-users are demanding tasks to be performed at faster and faster speeds, while the unavailability of applications cannot be tolerated. The complexity of application infrastructures including new Grid architectures has made the administrators’ task of managing heterogeneous and dynamic systems a difficult one. When an application fails, how does this impact your business? Where in the infrastructure is the root cause of an application failure? Is the problem impacting users globally or is it localized? Applications are typically developed Paper #40031
  2. 2. Application Server Management and supported by various groups within an organization, and often identifying problem responsibility can be a challenge. To simplify and effectively manage e-business applications, Oracle Enterprise Manager tools have provided administrators with an end-to-end and out-of-the-box solution for the Oracle technology stack and applications. In addition, Application Performance Management tools enable administrators to efficiently detect, assess the impact, and diagnose the root cause of performance problems. Often, when the quality of service provided to customers suffer, businesses are not informed by the end-users until a problem becomes critical. Businesses need to proactively understand the experience of their end-users so that they can better manage their applications and continuously optimize performance for profitability. End-user and business- centric management capabilities provided by Enterprise Manager ensure service levels are met and costs are minimized. All e-businesses realize that application down time, poor performance, and the inability of their end-users to complete critical online business processes can be costly to their organization. Performance problems can lead to high administrative costs spent on problem isolation and resolution – this is especially true if the process is slowed by disparate management tools that do not provide a fully integrated view and administration of the application stack. Poor application performance can also incur intangible costs that may include the loss of customer loyalty and business opportunities. Once potential application problems are identified, administrators need to quickly diagnose and resolve these issues before they impact end-users. Enterprise Manager’s intuitive and in-depth drill-down diagnostics allow administrators to trace the path of transactions and the end-user performance across the application tiers, directly down to the root cause of the problem. By providing intuitive root cause diagnostic tools, administrators are assured that they can confidently and rapidly resolve application problems. APPLICATION PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY Enterprise Manager employs the following three-step performance management approach that allows users to ensure that their Web application is responsive and available: 1. Monitor and measure the availability and performance for all users and all pages of an application. Monitoring and measuring application performance and availability is an ongoing process necessary for understanding the health of application components and services. Monitoring for performance trends provide administrators with information for application tuning and capacity planning. Continuous monitoring of application service levels ensures that important business goals are met, and that critical Web transactions can be performed by all users at all times. 2. Isolate availability outages and performance bottlenecks throughout the entire application infrastructure. When application components become unavailable, business transactions cannot complete successfully, or end-users are experiencing unacceptable response times, administrators need to quickly identify the source of the problem. It is essential not only to understand who is and how many users are impacted, but also to isolate the problem components from an end-to-end perspective. 3. Employ rapid problem resolution tools to minimize application downtime and eliminate performance bottlenecks. Intuitive drill-downs direct administrators quickly to the root cause of performance problems. Cross-tier transaction and application breakouts that include an in-depth and rich set of diagnostics help accelerate the mean-time-to-repair. Paper #40031
  3. 3. Application Server Management MANAGING THE AVAILABILITY OF WEB APPLICATIONS Administrators recognize how critical availability is to their Web applications. For businesses that rely heavily on Web applications, no availability may in fact mean no business at all. The rules for what constitutes availability may vary widely from one business application to another. Additionally, a Web application can sometimes be available to some users while for others it is not. With Enterprise Manager, administrators have the flexibility to define application availability as it pertains to their environment. APPLICATION AVAILABILITY At a business transaction level, an administrator can define a combination or one or more critical paths in their Web application to be used as the criteria for determining the site’s availability. For example, a CRM application may require that a user successfully log on to the Web site and access a sales report in order for the application to be considered available. For an e-commerce application, availability may mean that an end-user can access the home page, search for an item, and complete an online purchase. Enterprise Manager uses these logical business tasks or ‘transactions’ to define the availability of a Web application. These critical paths of business processes are recorded, and the stored transaction can be launched at a user-defined interval from strategic locations across the e-business enterprise. Each system component involved in the transaction is continuously monitored for availability. Because a slowly responding Web site is often as unavailable as one with failed components, administrators can set response thresholds that determine acceptable performance for a production application. All availability criteria are continuously monitored and alert notifications are generated when pre-defined thresholds are exceeded. The information captured and sent via Enterprise Manager’s alert system details the issue affecting availability, allowing faster triage and resolution of outages. Intuitive graphs and status icons are also incorporated into the Enterprise Manager Console, providing a real-time view of Web application availability and responsiveness. Paper #40031
  4. 4. Application Server Management Figure 1: At a glance, administrators are provided with a summarized view of the availability and performance of a Web application. IS MY APPLICATION AVAILABLE TO ALL MY USERS? In addition to monitoring the availability of the application itself, availability can be monitored from various global user communities within the network. A web site may be unavailable for all users or it may be a problem that is impacting users contained only within a specific network or location. To determine application availability from different end-points, ‘beacons’ are used to play back transactions at specified intervals from various locations that are representative of your user communities. Beacons are client robots that collect performance data at specified intervals at strategic locations in the network. For example, if your application is hosted in San Francisco, an administrator can configure beacons in London, New York and Sydney to simulate the performance and availability of your application from these user communities. Response times can differ, depending on various factors in the network, therefore, what constitutes acceptable response times for Sydney users may not be acceptable for New York users. To address these situations, Enterprise Manager lets administrators adjust response time thresholds on a per beacon or user community basis. DATABASE, MIDDLE-TIER, AND APPLICATION SERVER AVAILABILITY A full view of Web application availability is provided through integration with the Enterprise Manager framework, which provides out-of-the-box monitoring for the complete Oracle Eco-System. In the event that any component is unreachable, Enterprise Manager provides detailed alerts, enabling an administrator to triage system problems more efficiently and reduce system downtime. The availability of Web application components such as the application server, OC4J, web cache, and database are automatically monitored by simply designating these components as part of the Web application. Correlated views that compare the availability of the database, HTTP sever, host, OC4J, and Paper #40031
  5. 5. Application Server Management Web Cache allow administrators to quickly identify where in the processing chain an outage occurred. NETWORK COMPONENT AVAILABILITY A critical piece of the end-to-end application stack is the network. The responsiveness of your network components is as critical to your Web application as the performance of your URLs. Extension of the Enterprise Manager’s end- to-end monitoring solution is provided by the capability to monitor network components continuously and on- demand. Administrators can create Watch Lists to highlight the performance of critical network components. Customizable thresholds allow administrators to set responsiveness limits that will trigger alerts if they are exceeded. Any network component can be monitored on-demand, providing immediate route tracing and availability status for troublesome components. Network route tracing identifies the success or failure of each hop in its traversal. Since it is not always practical to have the management infrastructure permeate the entire application infrastructure, on- demand monitoring also allows network components that might otherwise go unmonitored to be checked periodically for responsiveness and availability. Figure 2: Watch lists highlight the availability and performance of network components and URLs. The network and HTTP response and the network route can be traced on an on-demand basis. Paper #40031
  6. 6. Application Server Management PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT OF WEB APPLICATIONS Enterprise Manager’s unparalleled Application Performance Management functionality allows administrators to monitor the actual performance that each and every user is experiencing for every action performed within the application. Even if a web site is available, it does not necessarily mean that the application is performing for all end- users at all times. It is also essential to continuously monitor the performance of Web applications in a proactive manner. All users of a Web application have a task to achieve, whether it be simply browsing a page, or performing a series of actions such as the process of making an online purchase. For this reason, performance management takes a business-centric view that if users are not able to perform these transactions within an acceptable response time, administrators need to be alerted, and the situation needs to be remedied. For continuous performance monitoring of your web application, transactions are played at administrator-defined intervals to ensure no performance bottlenecks are left unnoticed at any point in time. In addition to proactively tracking performance through synthetic transaction monitoring, administrators need to also know that all their pages are performing when they are accessed. Enterprise Manager provides administrators with the ability to assess the impact of performance problems by providing real end-user response times, combined with information about who and where the visitors are, and how many hits occurred. PROACTIVELY MONITOR BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS Business transactions are recorded using an intuitive playback recorder that automatically records a series of user actions and navigation paths. Transactions are typically defined in a way that simulates a user performing an online task that invokes the Web application. Transactions are then replayed automatically at specified intervals from various user communities using beacons. Enterprise Manager’s ability to monitor transactions from different user communities provides a powerful tool that lets administrators understand the performance of different user communities as well as isolate network latency from true application problems. For example, if all users from different user communities are experiencing the same performance degradation trends over time, this may be an indication of a server-side application problem. On the other hand, if performance bottlenecks are occurring within only one user community, this may indicate a localized problem attributed to the network. In addition, using ‘local’ beacons, which are typically located closest to the application itself, network latencies are factored out of response time measurements. Local beacon measurements provide administrators with server-side only response times. They are also useful in determining delays attributed to the network when the local beacon measurements are compared to the response times from remote user communities. Paper #40031
  7. 7. Application Server Management Figure 3: By examining transaction performance as measured from different user communities, administrators can determine if problems are server or network related. Warning and critical thresholds can be set individually for each user community so that administrators are alerted when transaction response times are exceeded. Administrators can detect for error strings in any of the transaction’s pages to indicate failure. Drill-down capabilities provide a breakdown of times consumed in each phase of a transaction. Proactively monitoring transactions enables administrators to tune their application by pre-empting problems and making corrections before performance degradation adversely affects users. Paper #40031
  8. 8. Application Server Management Figure 4: Detailed drill-downs allow administrators to graphically view response trends and examine transaction response time breakouts. Paper #40031
  9. 9. Application Server Management UNDERSTAND YOUR END-USER EXPERIENCE Most end-user and Web application monitoring tools require that the administrator manually configure the URLs they wish to monitor. Consider that a Web site like has over 80,000 URLs. It is, in practice, virtually impossible for an administrator to actively monitor the entire site. Enterprise Manager makes what has been extremely impractical and time-consuming into a simple task. Enterprise Manager automatically collects real-time response data for all end-users as they access a Web application or Web site. This comprehensive performance data is rolled up and stored in the Enterprise Manager repository, providing robust reporting of the end-user experience. Now administrators can both quickly identify URLs that are troublesome and gain the confidence that every URL in their application is monitored for responsiveness. Visitor tracking ensures that key customers, CEO’s, and all other important visitors are receiving adequate response times. Reports show where traffic originates and how much traffic stems from a particular location, so administrators can quantify the impact of performance problems. This information is invaluable when prioritizing repairs for system problems, empowering administrators to focus on problems having the largest impact while placing less critical issues at a lower priority. The Analyze functionality lets you view detailed reports in context by group, URL, domain, visitor, or application as well as in a daily, weekly, or monthly context. Further drill-downs provide administrators with response time and load distribution information to help balance Web server resources. Figure 5: Administrators can view the response times experienced by end-users as they access the URLs of a Web application. Paper #40031
  10. 10. Application Server Management DIAGNOSING ROOT CAUSE OF PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS Not only is it important in the performance management process to proactively monitor your web applications and understand end-user experience, but the ability to rapidly diagnose the root cause of problems is equally as critical. Reducing the mean-time-to-repair results in lower administrative and downtime costs and avoids the loss of business opportunities. Once a problem is identified using Enterprise Manager, the appropriate party must be notified immediately so that the situation can be quickly remedied. Most application deployments have groups of administrators who are responsible for maintaining different organizational areas within the application. The network, middle tier servers, application logic, and databases are typically each managed by their own group. When an application problem arises, often there is a delay associated with determining which group is responsible for repairing it. Timely notification of the proper organizational team can greatly reduce the bottleneck identification to resolution time. Now administrators can diagnose problems in real-time, vastly improving the ability to triage performance issues. Enterprise Manager makes this task simple by providing tools that report in-depth diagnostics and intuitively guide administrators directly to the root cause of problems so that the responsible party can be immediately notified of the problem. Enterprise Manager’s Application Performance Management solution is fully integrated into the Oracle technology stack. Instrumentation of the Oracle solutions such as Oracle Database10g and Oracle Application Server 10g allows contextual drill downs from monitored business transactions and end-user metrics into the underlying infrastructure, enabling root cause analysis of performance bottlenecks. In-depth diagnostic capabilities provide a wealth of information at the network, middle-tier and database access levels. INTERACTIVELY TRACE BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS The performance diagnostic process requires tools that allow administrators to easily and accurately pinpoint bottlenecks. The business transaction tracing facility provides an on-demand tool that lets administrators examine in detail all invocation paths of a transaction, and isolate the exact tier and location of a problem. All invocation paths of a transaction are traced and hierarchically broken down by servlet/JSP, EJB, JDBC/SQL times. Further drill- downs into each component identify further response time breakouts. Click-to-SQL drilldowns allow administrators to navigate down from a transaction view and examine the underlying SQL statements. If for example, performance degradation is identified at the SQL statement level, administrators can easily navigate to Enterprise Manager’s comprehensive database management tools to quickly resolve the problem all within a single management solution. In addition, administrators can run the trace facility following the resolution of a problem to reassure them that the situation has been satisfactorily remedied. Paper #40031
  11. 11. Application Server Management Figure 6: The interactive trace facility provides in-depth details of all invocation paths down to the SQL statement level. ANALYZE MIDDLE TIER PAGE PERFORMANCE Enterprise Manager’s middle tier performance analysis tool is instrumental to the application server and back-end problem diagnosis process. Web application content in the middle tier is broken out into servlet, JSP, JDBC, and EJB method processing times per URL accessed. Slowest URL processing times and the number of hits are highlighted so that administrators can easily recognize where problem resolution efforts should be prioritized. Application administrators need to know how their middle tier components are performing, including the top JSPs and servlets by processing time and request rates so that they can identify how these components are affecting overall response times. URL processing time and load graphs provide administrators with information on the impact of server activity on response times. Analyzing middle tier at the subcomponent level lets administrators make informed and accurate decisions to tune or repair the appropriate elements of a Web application. Easy to read graphs of URL processing times by OC4J subsystem allow administrators to quickly assess where the most time is spent. Further drill-downs bring administrators directly to in-depth URL processing call stack details. For faster problem resolution, administrators can refer to an advice window for repair and tuning suggestions. Paper #40031
  12. 12. Application Server Management Figure 7: Middle tier processing time and load graphs, and detailed call stack breakouts let administrators effectively tune and repair application performance bottlenecks. CORRELATE APPLICATION PERFORMANCE Application performance degradation can often be the cause of one or more factors residing within different Web application components. Graphical views of correlated metrics provide for an at-a-glance view of the performance of all your Web application components. Correlation can help administrators rapidly pinpoint these factors and components causing performance bottlenecks. Enterprise Manager presents component resource utilization, response times, load and availability in a single view so that administrators can easily compare and isolate factors that have contributed to performance bottlenecks. Enterprise Manager provides correlation of CPU utilization, memory, and I/O usage of all Web application components to help administrators determine where resources are constrained. The application performance correlation feature helps administrators understand the load supported and response times delivered by all your Web application components. The availability of all your application components including the database, HTTP Server, Host, OC4J, and Web Cache are presented in the same view so that administrators can immediately identify the offending component in the event of an outage or if a URL cannot be processed. Individual metrics for each application component can also be correlated. Paper #40031
  13. 13. Application Server Management Figure 8: Correlation lets administrators easily understand how component resources, response, load and availability affects overall performance for a given point in time. COMPLETE MONITORING OF THE ORACLE TECHNOLOGY STACK Enterprise Manager complements applications monitoring with complete, in-depth monitoring of each component that make the application’s technology stack. Monitoring is inherently built into the Enterprise Manager architecture from base system components to end-user business applications that work on top of the technology stack. A comprehensive set of performance and health metrics provide monitoring of each component and subcomponent of the Oracle stack – business applications, application server, database, as well as the backend components such as the hosts and operating systems on which they rely. By simply declaring membership of the monitored components to the Web application, component related alerts are automatically propagated to the Web application’s Enterprise Manager summary performance page. Drill-downs provided for every application component allow administrators to take advantage of the rich set of Enterprise Manager system management tools for Oracle and non-Oracle components. Enterprise Manager proactively monitors the availability of every component it manages, and allows administrators to be notified if any application component goes down, if a monitored component is ‘blacked out’ for scheduled maintenance, or even if its current status cannot be determined due to network outages. Coupled with these proactive notifications are availability status reports that are accessible via Enterprise Manager’s HTML Console. For each monitored component, Enterprise Manager provides a consolidated availability summary that shows its current and past availability status within the last 24 hours, 7 days, or month (31 days). This simple and concise report provides critical information to administrators who are responsible for day-to-day application Paper #40031
  14. 14. Application Server Management component availability, and for upper management to determine if they are meeting SLA goals. CONCLUSION End-to-end performance management of Web applications has become increasingly complex in today’s e-business environment. Fragmented management tools provide only a partial view of the enterprise. A lack of integration between management applications makes diagnosing and administering Web applications confusing, frustrating, and time consuming. The most effective system management solution is one that is easy to implement, provides a complete view of the entire system’s health, and offers a rich set of diagnostic tools that can rapidly guide administrators to the root cause of problems. Administrators not only need to know applications are available and transactions can be successfully completed, but they also require that their applications are performing well for all end-users at all times. When applications are not performing, administrators need to be able to quickly identify the source of any problem. Once an administrator identifies a problem, the management solution must provide simple navigation and an intelligent drill-down methodology for solving the issue at hand. Through complete instrumentation of the Oracle Eco-System, Enterprise Manager provides administrators a holistic approach to Web application monitoring and diagnostics. Combining availability management, end-user performance monitoring, proactive transaction monitoring, interactive transaction tracing, and in-depth middle tier analysis provides a complete view of the availability and performance of a Web application and a proactive approach to managing it. Enterprise Manager’s comprehensive Application Performance Management tools can ensure businesses that all their Web applications are performing for all users, all the time. Paper #40031