|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.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief Architect at CTS, will explore the synergy of Big Data and IoT. First he will take a closer look at the Internet of Things and Big Data individually, in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. Then he will explore the relationship between IoT and Big Data. Specifically, he will drill down to how the 4Vs aspects intersect with IoT: Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value. In turn, Tony will analyze how the key components of IoT influence Big Data: Device, Connectivity, Context, and Intelligence. He will dive deep to the matrix...
Oct. 5, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 190
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Building actually breathes - immediately flagging overheating in a closet or over cooling in unoccupied ho...
Oct. 5, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 157
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innovation is automation. The most painful pain point for any business is the mismatch between supplies a...
Oct. 5, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 106
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 5, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 157
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 5, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 718
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Oct. 5, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 569
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Oct. 5, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 414
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 5, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 442
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Oct. 5, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 428
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Oct. 5, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 723
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
Oct. 5, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 431
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.
Oct. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 562
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
Oct. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 375
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Oct. 5, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 721
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 5, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 353
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services 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. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 4, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 558
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 620
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session 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. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Oct. 3, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 580
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
Oct. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 413
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Oct. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 548