|By Michael S. Pallos||
|September 28, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
Organizations are increasingly using thread pools to enhance WebSphere Application Server performance by providing users with required information quickly without monopolizing resources required for other commands.
Regardless of the complexity of many J2EE applications, all that's important from the end user perspective, other than functionality, is processing time. The end user simply wants the requested HTML page to load quickly. Similarly, a business executive wants simple assurances that her organization is not losing customers due to slow Web site responses.
In the event that our response time is unacceptably slow, our competition is just a click away. As the old saying goes, "it is much easier to keep the customers you have than to get new ones." Successful Web site performance is key to a successful business and the Internet delivery channel.
The Pieces Of A Successful J2EE Application
There are many J2EE application transaction components, some of which afford us little or no control. Organizations, for example, have little control over the quality of customers' Internet connections to their Web sites or how the network path is routed in the Internet cloud. Fortunately, there are also many pieces of the Internet puzzle that organizations can manage and optimize, such as application servers, back end integration technologies, Java applications, and hardware. A successful IT "ecosystem" requires that each infrastructure component be tuned to optimize the entire IT system and support business performance. Organizations, for example, must ensure that Java application execution streams (threads) provide users with required information quickly and without monopolizing resources required for other commands.
This article will address best practices for harnessing thread pools in the application server environment, including the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) listener, Web container (application container), the Object Request Broker (ORB) container (also referred to as the Enterprise JavaBean container), and the data source connection pool. This article will also explore the notion of a thread pool funnel.
Thread Pool Overview
As users request Web site information, threads are required to process these requests. When focusing on the WebSphere Application Server (WAS) environment, applications requesting a thread are acquired from either the HTTP Listener, Web container thread pool, ORB container thread pool, or the data source connection pool. The threads contained in these pools are the actual resources that service user requests. Therefore, tuning thread pools properly will enhance WAS performance and optimize the users' experiences.
The WAS administrative console is used to tune thread pools. Each thread pool is assigned a minimum and a maximum thread pool number. When WAS is launched, it will create the number of threads identified in the minimum thread pool number parameter. As application processing occurs, the system will generate additional threads as required, up to the maximum number of threads parameter. It is critical to set the maximum number of threads for any specific queue or command properly. If the system is constantly creating and destroying threads from the pool, system thrashing will occur, wasting valuable resources. When configuring a thread pool, it is important to remember that the "more is better" rule does not apply here. Threads require a memory commitment and system resources. If the thread pool is configured to produce more threads than the system requires, valuable system resources are being denied to other resources. This type of configuration will burden the system and slow the application. Therefore, configuring thread pools accurately and harmoniously with each other is critical to optimal WebSphere performance.
Figure 1 displays an application request flow that requires back-end processing and illustrates the relationship among the thread pools as the user request is processed.
The HTTP Listener is responsible for thread creation at the HTTP server level. Most of the processing that occurs here is static page serving, or HTTP post/GET pass commands to the back end. This is the first level of thread configuration that must be considered.
The Web container is responsible for thread pool creation at the application server level. Most of the processing at this level includes servlet, JSP, EJB, dynamic page creation, and back-end pass-through processing. The Web container is the second level of thread pool configuration that must be configured.
ORB Container The ORB container is responsible for thread pool creation at the object level. Most of the processing that occurs here includes the processing of non-Web?based clients. The ORB container is the third level of the thread pool configuration that must be configured.
The data source level is responsible for creating the connection threads that are accessed from the database or "legacy" systems. These threads are the fourth level of configuration that must be addressed.
Thread Pool Funnel
When considering requests that are processed by the application, developers should consider Web architecture design and associated business processes. In many instances, more processing is required at the site's front-end systems than at the site's back-end systems. Because the number of requests requiring threads is greater at the front end of a Web site, the higher number of threads is required at layer one and is then reduced for each subsequent layer. This configuration produces a funnel effect in which thread requirements are reduced as the administrator configures each of the four layers. If the thread pool amounts were equal, the system could overload at each pool location, thereby saturating the entire WAS environment.
Therefore, when setting thread pool minimum and maximum parameters for specific thread pools, developers are often able to create a thread pool funnel that will produce the best results for a site. The thread pool funnel is displayed in Figure 2.
Some of the requests to a Web site only require static page returns. These requests are merely services at the HTTP listener layer, and do not require Web container, ORB container, or data source threads. These requests simply make it to the HTTP listener layer (see layer one in Figure 2), and then provide the user with the static response.
In another scenario, the application may only have to process at the Web container layer, perhaps hitting a JSP and getting returned dynamic page content. When this type of processing occurs, the user request requires threads for processing at the HTTP Listener and Web container layers. However, neither the ORB container nor data source processing is required.
The third scenario based on yet another type of inquiry, such as a non-Web Java application that would require processing. To service this request, a thread is acquired at the HTTP listener, Web container, and ORB container layers. In this case, processing at the data source layer was not required.
The final example, one which demands thread acquirement at all levels, includes a service rendered from the data source. A CICS transaction, for example, must be executed for the users' requests to be serviced via an EJB. In this final scenario, the users' requests required threads to be acquired at the HTTP Listener, Web container, ORB container, and data source layers.
It is important to note that when a flood of requests occurs in a thread pool funnel, each request will wait its turn at the appropriate queue rather than overloading all queues. The thread pool funnel provides a mechanism to minimize the potential for requests to overload the application server, significantly slowing performance or even crashing the system.
The thread pool funnel concept was first introduced in the Performances Analysis for Java report last year by Joines, Willenborg, and Hygh. Although the thread pool funnel is not pertinent in all J2EE application architectures, it is an effective design pattern that can increase application performance significantly. I have seen many customers who have implemented this concept reduce the end user's wait time, decrease the potential for application server saturation, and increase business productivity.
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,464
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,294
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 28, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 772
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 28, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,428
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,912
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,240
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 28, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,005
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,403
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 28, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,321
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 27, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,298
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 27, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,195
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 27, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,864
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 27, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,152
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 27, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,049
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 27, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,578
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,210
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,137
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
May. 27, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,234
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 27, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,154
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,392