Collect troubleshooting data for performance problems in IBM Business Process Manager (BPM)

Technote (troubleshooting)


You are having a performance problem with the IBM Business Process Manager products.
You would like to know what documentation you must collect (MustGather) so that the IBM Business Process Manager Support team can diagnose your problem. If you gather this documentation before contacting support it will expedite the troubleshooting process, and save you time.

Diagnosing the problem

Note: Before collecting the troubleshooting data, take a look at the knowledge collection, which lists the known performance problems in the IBM Business Process Manager product. If that page does not help, provide the following MustGather data:

General tuning versus specific issues

IBM technical support is only for specific product issues and questions.

If you need assistance with general tuning, environment health checks or application tuning then you may want to look into engaging IBM Services. We also have this Performance tuning Redbooks which provides guidance on the many aspects of BPM performance tuning.
"IBM Business Process Manager V8.5 Performance Tuning and Best Practices"

If you have a specific product issue or question related to product behavior then we can assist with that via technical support. We will need a detailed use case for the issue, the delay times you are seeing or your question and why you consider this a product performance issue.

Overview of Performance diagnostic information

Gather the following information and files. See the steps below for more detailed information:

  • Detailed problem description including use case, questions, and concerns.
  • Detailed environment description and topology
  • Profile /logs directory
  • Profile /config directory
  • verbose gc logging
  • Java™cores during the delay timeframe
  • Feedback on whether any OS or Database resource is being exhausted.
  • (As needed) PI or TWX export of the application involved in the delay.
  • (As needed) Tracing specific to the product area of the problem
  • (As needed) Logging of the http traffic involved in the issue

Detailed Performance diagnostic information

The following information provide detailed steps to gather each type of information that may be required for performance issues. When capturing a set of data ensure that it is complete and covers the timeframe of the occurrence that you point out.

1: Detailed problem description.

    You should provide as much information as possible.
    The main questions that need to be answered:
    • What product use case or application path has performance issues?
      For example login to process portal, starting a task, startup of BPM server
    • What delay times in seconds are you seeing?
    • Why do you consider this a product performance issue?
    • Was there at time the same scenario did not have a performance concern?
    Other questions to consider:
    • Does this always occur for a particular action?
      If not, how often does it occur?
    • Is it specific to a particular application or piece of an application?
    • Was there any change before the issue started to occur?
      For example a configuration change, new application deployed, or load increased.
    • Is there anything you have found which helps work around the issue?
    • If the related action is not known, how often does the issue occur?
      Do you notice any similarities like high user load, particular time of day, or other common factors?
    • How does this impact your business?
2: Detailed environment description and topology
    Provide the output of the following command for the involved profile:
     versionInfo -maintenancePackages
    Also ensure the following info is provided:
    • Description the topology of the environment including clusters and nodes used.
    • Provide details about the database and other third party products involved in the behavior.
    • Are there multiple networks involved in the communications?
      If so, do they span large distances (BPM and database server not collocated) ?
    • If browser related, do you see the same behavior in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome?
3: Profile /logs directory
    After the issue occurs provide the <profile_root>/logs directory which contains the impacted servers.
    Also be sure to provide timestamps of when the issue starts and ends so we have the scope of what should be reviewed in the logs.

4: Profile /config directory
    Provide the <profile_root>/config directory from the deployment manager.
    If you wish to leave out the cells\ CellName\applications folder because it is very large then this is generally fine.

5: Enable verbose GC
    JVM memory usage is a common issue for performance problems so it is always good to enable this. It is also a very light weight tracing which would generally not impact the performance if it is left on.
    See "Enabling VerboseGC" for specific steps to enable this. The Process Designer Mustgather also discusses the steps for that tool.

6: Generate javacores during the issue.
    Try to generate 3-5 javacores spaced out evenly over the period when the delay is experienced or every minute for hangs that don't return. The javacores need to be gathered while the issue is occurring although it can be helpful to also get one just before the delay is experienced for comparison. They need to be taken on the JVM where the delays are occurring which often is in the application cluster.
    Javacores can be triggered by a kill -3 on Unix OSes or the WAS commands. For more details on the WAS commands or triggering this on Windows see this article on generating javacores for Windows. The IBM WAIT tool may also be used to collect JavaCores

7: Review the system resources
    Have your system administrator review the OS and database resources while the issue is occurring. Let us know if anything is being exhausted to the point that it causes the performance issue like disk i/o, memory or network bandwidth. Also if you are using a virtualized environment be sure that you also review the underlying physical resources. See this reference document for running BPM in a virtual environment.

8: PI or TWX export of the application
    If the issue is related to a particular application then we will need more details about that application. Let us know the name of the module or BPD involved and any specific activities or application paths that are related to the issue.
    For SCA modules, provide a Project Interchange(PI) export from IBM Integration Designer.
    For Process Applications, provide a TWX export of the involved snapshot from Process Center.

9: Tracing specific to the product area of the problem
    Tracing can impact performance so generally it can be good to get an initial set of data without trace. Although often after initial problem analysis, it is good to get trace specific to a particular component area. Trace for specific areas can be found in the various product MustGathers.
    Although the best trace will depend on the problem type, WAS.clientinfopluslogging=all can be a good general trace because it provides info on SQL queries and EJB method boundaries.

10: Logging of the HTTP traffic.
    If the performance issue involves client/server processing then capturing the network traffic can be helpful to narrow the scope of the issue. The data capture should include, the URL or operation, headers, request/response data, and the timing. Fiddler or Wireshark are useful tools for this. It can also be captured via browser plugins.

This covers general information useful for most performance issues. Although each issue could require additional information specific to an area or problem. Component specific mustgathers can be reviewed for more details on data to collect for a particular area. Performance issue may also require multiple collections of data as the issue is narrowed down.

What to do next

  1. Review the logs and traces at the time of the problem to try to determine the source of the problem.

  2. Use IBM Support Assistant to search for known problems in the product documentation, forums, and Technotes.

  3. If you cannot find related problems or cannot solve the problem, send the information you have collected to IBM by following the instructions in Exchanging Information with IBM Technical Support.

Related information

BPM - Performance Tuning and Best Practices
IBM Business Process Manager - Tuning
How to resolve memory issues in BPM?
Configure Java logging (WebSphere Application Server)
Search: WebSphere Application Server - Perf MustGather
Search: WebSphere Application Server OOM MustGather
A simplified Chinese translation is available

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Business Integration WebSphere Lombardi Edition General Linux, Windows 7.2, 7.1
Business Integration IBM Business Process Manager Express Performance Linux, Windows 8.5, 8.0.1, 8.0, 7.5.1, 7.5
Business Integration IBM Business Process Manager Standard Performance AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows 8.5, 8.0.1, 8.0, 7.5.1, 7.5
Business Integration IBM BPM Advanced Pattern on Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server Performance Linux Red Hat - xSeries 8.0.1, 8.0
Business Integration IBM Business Process Manager Advanced Pattern on AIX Performance AIX 8.0.1

Product Alias/Synonym


Document information

More support for:

IBM Business Process Manager Advanced

Software version:

7.5, 7.5.1, 8.0, 8.0.1, 8.5

Operating system(s):

AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Reference #:


Modified date:


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