Java Performance Monitoring and Optimization Tools

When it comes to creating and deploying web applications and platforms, Java is one of the most widely-used programming languages. Although Java is based on C and C++ syntax, developers use it because it allows them to adopt and deploy their code to nearly any platform or machine, regardless of operating system or architecture.

Because of its ease of use, Java has become ubiquitous for web application development. As such, it’s important for developers and IT managers to implement reliable Java performance monitoring practices if they wish to maintain high performance standards for their organization’s critical web applications. To accomplish this goal, it’s important to monitor the right elements and choose the right tools for effective Java performance tuning. Here’s a list of our most recommended Java performance monitoring and optimization tools.

1. Java Application Performance Management: SolarWinds AppOptics

SolarWinds® AppOptics™ is a full-service infrastructure and application performance monitoring solution. It offers users distributed tracing, custom, and pre-configured alerts and metrics, and customizable dashboards. AppOptics also operates as a Java monitoring tool, enabling tech pros to analyze Java application performance all the way down to the code level.

AppOptics can also work as a Java performance tuner and help developers obtain end-to-end level insights into their Java infrastructure. This real-time information helps developers optimize their troubleshooting practices for any Java application. Java virtual machine (JVM) metrics mean developers can tune their applications by using granular insights into process availability, Java heap usage, active threads, and response times. Users can also collect performance metrics and in-depth transaction traces with the aid of built-in features for other different coding frameworks and libraries like .NET, PHP, Python, and more.

AppOptics’ Java performance monitor has an intuitive user interface that comes with open integrations for Snap and Telegraf ecosystems. Users can also add custom and pre-configured plug-ins or create their own, allowing for increased flexibility when monitoring Java web apps.

2. Java Log Management and Analysis: SolarWinds Loggly

SolarWinds Loggly® is a cloud-based log management service designed to speed and improve the Java logging process. With Loggly, developers can consolidate logs from their different web applications and analyze them alongside infrastructure or network logs, all on the same UI. Loggly hosts all log data on a single dashboard, which comes with pre-configured charts and graphs to add detail to your Java logging overview.

Once Loggly collects, parses, and centralizes all the log data from Java applications, users can analyze such data with the help of automated log analysis tools. For example, Loggly helps enable users to parse partial and multi-line stack traces automatically, making it easy to search for specific logs across all Java web applications. With better querying capabilities, users can more quickly turn silos of raw Java data into actionable information.

3. Java Heap Analyzer: The Eclipse Memory Analyzer

One of the most important metrics to monitor on a Java-based system is memory—by keeping tabs on your Java heap usage. Essentially, all Java objects are stored in an area called the heap. When an application runs, the heap’s storage will fluctuate in size. If the heap becomes full, objects are discarded to make room. But if your heap isn’t running smoothly, you risk having bottlenecks in your web applications.

The Eclipse Memory Analyzer is a full-stack Java heap analyzer specifically designed to help developers allocate memory consumption and set policies. Developers can use the Memory Analyzer tool to analyze heap dumps, even when millions of objects are passing through. They can also calculate the retained sizes of objects to help ensure the garbage collector is collecting the right objects from the heap. IT teams can also generate ad hoc reports to extract leak suspects.

4. Web Tracer: LightStep

Web tracing is an important practice for IT teams who want to record and analyze information about a web application’s performance. But manual tracing can be tedious—developers have to inspect hundreds of packets, identify the protocols being used, and track down hundreds of IP addresses to gain a holistic understanding of how a Java-based web application is faring.

LightStep is a full-service trace viewer able to make things a bit easier by automating parts of the above process. With LightStep, developers can create custom system diagrams around services and tags, and share snapshots that collect and analyze thousands of related traces. Plus, LightStep can easily integrate into hundreds of projects or Java-based web applications.

5. Web Profilers: EJ Technologies JProfiler

Developers need to do more than just write functional code. An organization might want to know other things, like general performance metrics, how much memory is being used by a web application, or how concurrent executions affect a network. As such, developers will utilize profilers to gain these insights. For Java-based code, it’s wise to use a Java profiler to monitor constructs and the JVM level.

EJ Technologies’ JProfiler is a Java profiler tool that enables users to more quickly resolve performance bottlenecks, identify memory leaks, and obtain a better understanding of any threading issues. With JProfiler’s heap walker, developers can use a UI to view a set of objects from five different angles for better inspection. This allows them to solve memory problems more efficiently.

6. JMX Monitoring: Pingdom Server Monitor

When it comes to Java log management and analysis, many developers turn to the JMX console, which provides information about the health and resources of a JVM. JMX monitoring relies on real-time querying to gain information from the MBeans (Managed Beans) within the JMX console. This is another process that must be automated to be performed efficiently.

As a flexible monitoring tool, Pingdom Server Monitor collects key metrics from across a wide range of devices and services, including the JMX console. Users can add a JMX monitoring plugin that reports JMX values, including heap and non-heap memory usage and set the tool to monitor other Java metrics as well. Pingdom allows for a lightweight install, so there are no complicated configurations to get started. What’s more, users benefit from custom alerts that help flag potential Java issues.