Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Aruna Ravichandran, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Application Performance and Antipatterns

Any application you pick up, there are some issues

Any application you pick up, there are some issues – big or small. There will be copy-paste code, mistakes, algorithms which could have better thought through. But what distinguishes an antipattern from these normal errors is that like patterns these antipatterns are recurring throughout the code base.

In my recent experience in dealing with performance issues, I had observed certain recurrent themes that are undermining the overall application performance. Most of these antipatterns are well documented but it seems we do not learn from others mistakes. We need to make our own mistakes. I am recounting some of the common patterns that I observed in the recent months.

  • Excessive Layering - Most of the underlying performance starts with the excessive layering antipattern. The application design has grown over the usage of controllers, commands and facades. In order to decouple each layer, the designers are adding facades at each of the tiers. Now, for every request at the web tier, the request call goes through multiple layers just to fetch the results. Imagine doing this for thousands of requests coming in and the load the JVM need to handle to process these requests. The number of objects that get created and destroyed when making these calls add to the memory overhead. This further limits the amount of requests that can be handled by each server node.

    Based on the size of the application, deployment model, the number of user’s, appropriate decision need to be taken to reduce the number of layers. E.g. if the entire application gets deployed in the same container, there is no need to create multiple layers of process beans, service beans(business beans), data access objects etc. Similarly, when developing an internet scale application, large number of layers start adding overheads to the request processing.

    Remember, large number of layers means large number of classes which effectively start impacting the overall application maintainability.

  • Round Tripping- With the advent of ORM mappings, Session/DAO objects, the programmer starts making calls to beans for every data. This leading to excessive calls between the layers. Another side issue is the number of method calls each layer start having to support this model. Worse case is, when the beans are web service based. Client tier making multiple web service calls within a single user request have a direct impact on the application performance.



    To reduce the round tripping, the application needs to handle or combine multiple requests at the business tier.

  • Overstuffed Session- Session object is a feature provided by the JEE container to track user session during the web site visit. The application start with the promise of putting very minimal information in the session but over a period of time, the session object keeps on growing. Too much of data or wrong kind of data is stuffed into the session object. Large data objects will mean that the objects placed in the session will linger on till the session object is destroyed. This impacts the number of user’s that can be served by the application server node. Further, I have seen, application using session clustering to support availability requirements but adding significant overheads to the network traffic and ability of application to handle higher number of users.

    To unstuff the session object, take an inventory of what all goes there, see what is necessary, what objects can be defaulted to request scope. For others, remove the objects from session when their usage is over.

  • Golden Hammer (Everything is a Service) – With the advent of SOA, there is tendency to expose the business services, which can be orchestrated into process services. In the older applications, one can observe similar pattern being implemented with EJBs. This pattern coupled with the bottom up design approach at times, means exposing each and every data entity as a business service. This kind of design might be working correctly functionally, but from the performance and maintenance point of view, it soon becomes a night mare. Every web service call adds overhead in terms of data serialization and deserialization. At times, the data(XML) being passed with web service calls is also huge leading to performance issues.

    The usage of services or ejb’s should to be evaluated from application usage perspective. Attention needs to be paid on the contract design.

  • Chatty Services – Another pattern observed is the way the service is implemented via multiple web service calls each of which is communicating a small piece of data. This results in explosion of web services and which leads to degradation of performance and unmaintainable code. Also, from the deployment perspective, the application starts running into problems. I have come across projects which have hundred plus services all getting crammed into a single deployment unit. When the application comes up, the base heap requirement is already in 2Gb range leaving not much space for application to run.

    If the application is having too many fine grained services, then it an indication towards the application of this antipattern.

The above mentioned antipatterns are frequent causes of application performance issues. The teams usually start with the right intentions but over a period of time, things will start slipping. Some of the common reasons:

  • Lack of design standards and reviews processes – even if these exists, the delivery pressure is leading to skipping these processes
  • Team members inexperience or narrow view leads to every programmer only looking at their module and nobody is looking at the overall application performance
  • Continuous Integration(CI) tools not integrated with compliance check tools like PMD, Checkstyle, FindBugs etc
  • No focus on profiling of the application on regular basis during the code construction phase
  • Not evaluating the results from the Load tests to decipher and fix the underlying issue (blaming the poor infrastructure setup)
What are the other antipatterns you have observed that have contributed to the degradation in the application performance. Do share!

More Stories By Tech Spot

Founded in 2005, Tech Spot has grown into a leading source of information on Cloud Computing, Big Data, DevOps, Internet of Things and Microservices.

Bloggers - Munish K Gupta, Aravind Ajad Yarra

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, will explore the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and will give a real live, hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He will examine three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. This is a hands-on session that will require participants to bring their own laptops, and we will provide the rest.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
As the race for the presidency heats up, IT leaders would do well to recall the famous catchphrase from Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign against George H. W. Bush: “It’s the economy, stupid.” That catchphrase is important, because IT economics are important. Especially when it comes to cloud. Application performance management (APM) for the cloud may turn out to be as much about those economics as it is about customer experience.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International 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 developm...
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices 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 business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
The unique combination of Amazon Web Services and Cloud Raxak, a Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a seamless and cost-effective way of securely moving on-premise IT workloads to Amazon Web Services. Any enterprise can now leverage the cloud, manage risk, and maintain continuous security compliance. Forrester's analysis shows that enterprises need automated security to lower security risk and decrease IT operational costs. Through the seamless integration into Amazon Web Services, ...
Software development is a moving target. You have to keep your eye on trends in the tech space that haven’t even happened yet just to stay current. Consider what’s happened with augmented reality (AR) in this year alone. If you said you were working on an AR app in 2015, you might have gotten a lot of blank stares or jokes about Google Glass. Then Pokémon GO happened. Like AR, the trends listed below have been building steam for some time, but they’ll be taking off in surprising new directions b...
A lot of time, resources and energy has been invested over the past few years on de-siloing development and operations. And with good reason. DevOps is enabling organizations to more aggressively increase their digital agility, while at the same time reducing digital costs and risks. But as 2017 approaches, the hottest trends in DevOps aren’t specifically about dev or ops. They’re about testing, security, and metrics.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Software delivery was once specific to the IT industry. Now, Continuous Delivery pipelines are used around world from e-commerce to airline software. Building a software delivery pipeline once involved hours of scripting and manual steps–a process that’s painful, if not impossible, to scale. However Continuous Delivery with Application Release Automation tools offers a scripting-free, automated experience. Continuous Delivery pipelines are immensely powerful for the modern enterprise, boosting ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Docker containers have brought great opportunities to shorten the deployment process through continuous integration and the delivery of applications and microservices. This applies equally to enterprise data centers as well as the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jari Kolehmainen, founder and CTO of Kontena, will discuss solutions and benefits of a deeply integrated deployment pipeline using technologies such as container management platforms, Docker containers, and the drone.io Cl tool...