Remote Monitoring with JMX Tools: VisualVM

With Public IP addresses available in the platform, you can use JMX (Java Management Extension) tools to monitor your applications. It’s pretty easy.

In this quick tutorial, we’ll show you how to use JMX tools through the VisualVM tool, which integrates several commandline JDK tools and lightweight profiling capabilities. It enhances the capability of monitoring and performance analysis for the Java SE platform. This great tool is commonly used by application developers for monitoring, profile, taking thread dumps and browsing heap dumps. System administrators use it very often for monitoring and control of Java apps across the entire network. Even Java application users can create bug reports containing all the necessary information with VisualVM.

So, you have to go through the steps below to start VisualVM monitoring of your application in the PaaS:

1. Log into the platform dashboard.

2. Click the Create environment button:

create environment

3. In the Environment Topology dialog, pick your application server (for example, Tomcat), switch on Public IPv4 for your server and type your environment name, for example, visualvm.

environment wizard

Wait just a minute for your environment to be created. You can see your public IP in the dropdown list for Tomcat.

Tomcat public IP

4. Click on config button for Tomcat.

Tomcat config

5. Navigate to variables.conf file (server directory) and set the following system properties:


set variables

Save the changes and Restart Tomcat.

6. If you have Sun JDK 6 or 7 installed on your computer, run VisualVM (…/jdk/jre/bin/visualvm). Also you can download and install VisualVM separately. Then add a new JMX connection (enter Tomcat’s public IP address and the port number that you have specified in variables.conf).

run VisualVM

VisualVM add JMS connection

In a few seconds your connection will be established and your application will appear in the list with remote connections. Also you’ll see short overview of your server, including server data, JVM arguments and system properties.

remote connection

7. Navigate to the Monitor tab to follow the high-level statistics. Here are the reports with charts which demonstrate CPU utilization including GC (garbage collection) activity, memory state and number of uploaded classes and created threads.

VisualVM monitor tab

8. If you switch to the Threads tab you can monitor detailed stats on all your threads. There are several views of this statistic report: timeline, table and details.

VisualVM threads tab

9. Sampler has two modes: CPU and Memory. The first one profiles methods according to the spent time, the second profiles them according to the created and removed objects.

VisualVM sampler tab

Also here is a video version of the same procedure:

Hope the instruction above will be useful for you. Stay tuned!

What’s next?