Performance Trends: Finding Value Amid the Hype

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At a recent event, I took advantage of having some of the world’s most notable APM experts all in one place by convincing them to be interviewed on camera. What I wanted to know was whether or not the hyped-up technology trends that we see constantly in the news were really being implemented in companies. We discussed the state of cloud, mobile, big data and the process trend DevOps. I read plenty of articles on this stuff so it was surprising to … [Read more...]

Performance Test Automation for GWT and SmartGWT

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This blog is based on the experience of Jan Swaelens, Software Architect at Sofico. He is responsible for automatic performance testing of the company’s new web platform based on GWT and SmartGWT. Sofico is specialized in software solutions for automotive finance, leasing, fleet and mobility management companies. Choosing GWT and SmartGWT over other technologies About 2 years ago Sofico started a project to replace its rich desktop application … [Read more...]

Pros and Cons of Using Java vs Native Agent for Application Performance Management

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Many Application Performance Management (APM) vendors that give insight into the runtime behavior of JVMs use interfaces provided by the Java Runtime. Traditionally Java offered the JVMPI Interface which was replaced by JVMTI with Java 5. Both options allow a tool vendor to load a native library (often called native agent) into the same process as the JVM. This library gets access to JVM state and certain aspects of application execution through … [Read more...]

The Top 5 Challenges Mobile App Developers Face

User Experience Planning

Many people think that creating an application for mobile platforms is the same as creating an application for desktop or laptop computers. It’s not true. Are they all computers? Yes. Are all computers built the same? Absolutely not. Here’s some of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face as I transitioned from building applications for full-sized computers to hand-held mobile phones. 1. Screen Real Estate Screen sizes for a computer usually … [Read more...]

Hunting a Oracle JDBC Memory Leak crashing an 80JVM WebSphere Cluster

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Are you prematurely restarting JVMs to keep them from running out of memory? Or have you received the recommendation from your application experts to just “increase the Java Heap Space?” The following memory chart shows the memory consumption of 10 JVMs (4.1GB Heap each) per Host on an 8 machine cluster. It is from a large online retail store who has prepared for the online shopping season. Its JVMs kept running out of memory, crashing with … [Read more...]

The Hidden Class Loading Performance Impact of the Spring Framework

80-90% of the transaction response time is spent in Java Class Loading (purple portion of the response time contribution). That’s true for peak but also “normal” load.

The Spring Framework is great as it removes a lot of legwork that developers would otherwise need to do in order to get a new application up and running. Instead of spending time re-inventing the wheel, it is generally easy and convenient to use frameworks for common tasks such as Caching, Database Access or Data Binding with UI Elements. “Trusting” a framework blindly without looking “underneath the hood” is, however, not a good idea. It’s like … [Read more...]

The Content Delivery Network Show: Act 3 – When Things Go Wrong

Attribution: doenietzomoeilijk

In my first 2 blogs Act 1 – The What and Why  and Act2 – The How and How Not I covered the main benefits of CDNs and what type of tools are needed to monitor them. Today I want to go into some details of why you need to consider monitoring them in the first place. Let’s face it: if things work well enough, why worry about monitoring them? Of course it is great to be able to see all the details, but do I really need all that information? Aren’t … [Read more...]

The Content Delivery Network Show: Act 2 – How and How Not to Monitor CDNs

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In my first blog Act 1 – The What and Why I talked about the benefits and some risks around using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Today I will cover some details around some common misunderstandings regarding how to monitor CDNs and explain the right monitoring strategy. Which monitoring options do you have? In order to manage any complex system you need quality data as quickly as possible. All the enterprise CDN solutions offer some level of … [Read more...]

The Content Delivery Network Show: Act 1 – The What and Why

Attribution: elsie

“Step right in. You will witness a show of magic and wonders, passion and trust, speed and misunderstandings.” a (slightly altered) catch phrase that keeps popping in my head when talking to companies in regards to managing Content Delivery Networks (CDN). Apart from the misconception that a CDN will solve all performance problems one of the great unknowns seems to be how to actually monitor CDNs the right way. And as we all know: you can’t … [Read more...]

Continuous Performance Validation in Continuous Integration Environments

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Each year, the holiday shopping season brings a surge in awareness for website performance and scalability issues. While these items should obviously take an important spot on your roadmap during the whole year, the interesting question is why familiar performance problems keep impacting customer-facing web sites over and over again. After all, we’re all well aware of the most frequent problem patterns that you might face, ranging from front-end … [Read more...]