Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, VictorOps Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

Microservices Expo: Article

Monitoring Web Applications Using Hyperic

Monitoring enables us to anticipate the issues

Monitoring applications is an important aspect of IT industry. Huge investments are made in setting and maintaining the IT infrastructure be it cloud or physical. To ensure maximum performance across your business, problems have to be identified and resolved before they affect the users. Monitoring enables us to anticipate the issues and hence resolve them before they start appearing as problems to users. We need to have visibility into IT infrastructure to identify the issue origin. For example, by monitoring the applications proactively, we can figure out the root cause whether its poor performance is due to the problem at resource level or at application level or at any other place and take action before it starts impacting the user. It gives us more control and confidence on the application and hence helps us in meeting the service quality requirements.

Performance issues can arise due to problems at any level - machine/ application/ transaction. We should be able to monitor through all levels so that exact point of origin can be located. Most of the current solutions provide monitoring at any one particular level. For example, some cloud based infrastructure solutions provide monitoring at machine level only. Problem need not be necessarily to be at machine level. There could be problem at the application level like increased thread count, more number of active connections to valuable resources, etc or at transaction level like response time, request rate, etc. Thus, monitoring across different levels gives us visibility to know where the problem lies. Once the problem origin is known, we can take corrective actions to resolve it before it impacts the user experience.

There should be a solution to achieve the same to dig out the actual problem. We are going to deal with it in this article. We are going to see how to monitor different metrics (CPU utilization, thread count per minute, response time) at different levels. We will use Hyperic as our monitoring tool to measure the metrics. It is a systems monitoring, server monitoring and IT management software. It is based on server-agent model. We will have a look at the basic architecture of Hyperic as well.

Use-case scenario - Problem statement

Consider a case where a web application becomes famous and workload increases on it. This causes the application's performance to go down which results in slow loading of web pages. There could be many reasons for the degradation of performance like CPU utilization exceeds certain level, application logic is poor, less number of resources in infrastructure which are not able to sustain the load and many more. Issue could be at any level as discussed. Availability and performance marks end users' experience. This necessitates the monitoring of applications at different levels so that any unexpected behaviour could be avoided by taking corrective measures on time.

Deep dive into the solution
One of the most common complaints heard from end user is ‘website responds very slowly'. Poor performance of application can drift the user away from web application and leaves a bad impact on them. To find out the reason for poor performance of application, we have to measure the metrics at different levels to dig out the actual issue. We are programmatically going to monitor CPU utilization at machine level, used thread count per minute at application level and response time at transaction level.

Monitoring requires a reliable tool which can track the metrics periodically and update the application administrators.  There are lots of monitoring tools present in the market with varying features. Some of the most commonly used are Hyperic, Nagios, Cacti, Ganglia, etc.  Most of the tools in the market represent the metric values in visual form which helps the administrators to monitor and analyze any unexpected behaviour of application.

Hyperic is one of the leading monitoring tools in this arena. Hyperic comes in two flavors - open source (under GPL licensing) and enterprise edition (commercial license). It is based on server-agent model.  Following is a short description of Hyperic key components:

  1. HQ Agent: HQ agent is responsible for collecting data of the machine in which it is installed and send it to server. Each machine which is to be monitored should have an HQ agent running.
  2. HQ Server: HQ server consolidates the data sent by agents installed on different machines and persist it in the Hyperic database. HQ server maintains the inventory which keeps the information of all the resources and their monitored values.
  3. HQ Portal: HQ portal is a graphical user interface which gives complete information about the resources being monitored. User can add/ remove/perform control actions/set alarms from this portal. It is highly customizable with provision of choosing the metric to be collected and changing the collection intervals.
  4. HQ Web Service API: It has java based API called HQAPI. It helps in accessing the resources and their metrics programmatically.
  5. HQ Plugins: Hyperic has its own set of resource plugins for collecting metrics and other operations. It is also possible to build a new plugin to support additional functionality.

A large number of metrics is managed by Hyperic. In case of virtual environment, Hyperic agents are installed on virtual machines. We will use HQAPI to access the resources.

Consider a web application deployed on Apache Tomcat as application server. We will deploy famous - Jpetstore web portal on application server and then monitor the same.

Deploy web application on application server
Copy the jpetstore application under ${Apache_Tomcat_Installation_dir}/webapps and start tomcat. Try accessing - http://localhost:8080/jpetstore link and if it shows jpetstore homepage that means application is deployed successfully.

The way resources are modelled in hierarchical fashion in Hyperic UI console, same way resources could be accessed programmatically using HQ Java API. Top most resource is Platform and beneath it are present services running which are allowed to be monitored in that machine. Let's see how to monitor different metrics at different levels using HQAPI.

More Stories By Akansha Jain

Akansha works as a Technology Analyst at SETLabs, R&D division, at Infosys Technologies Ltd. She has close to 4 years of experience in development of Cloud computing, Java and Java EE applications, Eclipse Plugin Architecture, Software Factory, Web 2.0,etc. Earlier publication works are available on devx.com.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device acce...
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small,...
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
ElasticBox, the agile application delivery manager, announced freely available public boxes for the DevOps community. ElasticBox works with enterprises to help them deploy any application to any cloud. Public boxes are curated reference boxes that represent some of the most popular applications and tools for orchestrating deployments at scale. Boxes are an adaptive way to represent reusable infrastructure as components of code. Boxes contain scripts, variables, and metadata to automate proces...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the ...
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...