Java application performance

Many business-critical applications are written in Java today. The flexibility of the Java runtime and versatility of the object-oriented Java language enable Java applications to be designed, developed, and deployed across enterprises robustly. However, performance bugbears can manifest themselves to hinder Java application performance. Fortunately, Java application performance monitoring tools are available in the market to help detect and mitigate such issues.

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Common factors that degrade Java application performance

The performance of Java applications is often retarded by several common factors. Depending on the complexity of a Java application, these issues can be easily detected and solved using Java APM solutions like those from Dynatrace. Several common factors that degrade Java Application Performance are:

  • Inefficient database access -- Sub-optimally written database queries can result in excessive database querying resulting in unnecessary calls to the database that can adversely affect Java application performance. Misconfigured connection pooling can also cause bottlenecks to database access and slow down or even hang Java applications. A Java monitoring tool can be employed to measure database access response times for each query. High response times can indicate database access bottlenecks. Additionally, a load testing tool can be implemented to load test a Java application that uses a database to determine the optimal setting for database connection pools.
  • Memory leaks -- Memory leaks in Java applications can originate from code design or memory management in JVM implementations. A memory leak degrades Java application performance and may eventually cause a JVM to run out of memory resulting in a stalled application. Java application monitoring tools can be used to detect memory leaks at runtime by providing real-time memory usage data and application response times. Java performance tuning tools can be used to optimize JVM memory management.
  • Execution deadlocks -- An execution deadlock occurs when a thread of execution in a JVM attempts to acquire a shared resource that is locked by another thread. Java supports synchronized locking of shared resources which occurs when a resource is locked by one thread so that other threads cannot access the resource until the lock is released by the first thread. When two resources are each locked by two different threads, an execution deadlock occurs when each thread attempts to access the locked resource of the other. Execution will not proceed until one resource is released by its thread, and this will not occur. The symptoms of execution deadlock, which include low CPU utilization and a JVM that has used all or most of its threads, can be detected using Java application performance monitoring tools such as those from Dynatrace.

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Improve Java application performance using Dynatrace PurePath Technology®

Dynatrace provides industry-leading solutions for Java APM that use Dynatrace's patented PurePath Technology. PurePath Technology provides end-to-end diagnostics for Java application transactions across entire user click paths from users' browsers through application servers and middleware to databases. PurePath transactional tracing is always on 24/7 to track dynamic application execution paths that may traverse cloud and virtual environments. PurePath Technology also allows drilling-down to the method level to visually show method arguments and values as well as SQL statements. Such deep level of tracing allows root causes of performance problems in Java applications to be isolated quickly. By using PurePath Technology, best-of-breed Java APM products from Dynatrace offer the fastest and most efficient tools to improve Java application performance.

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