Primary Troubleshooting Tools for WebSphere Application Server

Product documentation


Abstract

There are many diagnostic tools for troubleshooting applications deployed to WebSphere Application Server. Because it can be difficult to find the right tool for the problem at hand this document summarizes the primary tools to choose from when you begin troubleshooting a problem.

Content

See How to Download, Install and Run tools through the IBM Support Assistant for information on downloading and installing these tools. Tech Preview tools are provided as-is, but you may post questions or problems with them on the ISA forum.


Java Troubleshooting Tools
Use these diagnostic tools to help you troubleshoot problems related to memory management, performance, hangs, crashes and more in your Java applications deployed to WebSphere Application Server. They are not specific to WebSphere products, so you can also use them to diagnose problems with any Java application.



WebSphere Application Server Troubleshooting Tools
Use these tools to help you troubleshoot problems that are specific to WebSphere Application Server. For example, you can use these tools to analyze HTTP request/response times, JDBC connections, and web services configurations.


IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Memory Analyzer

What it's used for: Analyzing system dumps and Java heap dumps to help you:

  • Troubleshoot memory leaks
  • Understand the architecture of your Java application through footprint analysis
  • Improve performance by tuning memory footprint and optimizing Java collections and cache usage
  • Customize analysis with additional plug-ins and reports

Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Memory Analyzer can analyze heap dumps with hundreds of millions of objects, quickly calculate the retained sizes of objects, see what is preventing the Garbage Collector from collecting objects, run a report to automatically extract leak suspects and more. It is based on the Eclipse Memory Analyzer (MAT) project.


IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Garbage Collection and Memory Visualizer (GCMV)

What it's used for: Analyzing and visualizing verbose GC logs to help you:

  • Monitor and fine tune Java heap size and garbage collection performance
  • Flag possible memory leaks
  • Size the Java heap correctly
  • Select the best garbage collection policy

Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Garbage Collection and Memory Visualizer (GCMV) provides analysis and views of your application's verbose gc output. GCMV displays the data in both graphical and tabulated form. It provides a clear summary and interprets the information to produce a series of tuning recommendations, and it can save reports to HTML, JPEG or .csv files (for export to spreadsheets). GCMV parses and plots various log types including:

  • Verbose GC logs
  • -Xtgc output
  • native memory logs (output from ps, svmon and perfmon)


IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Dump Analyzer

What it's used for:
Analyzing system dumps produced by IBM JVMs to diagnose typical problems such as:

  • Out of Memory
  • Deadlocks
  • Java Virtual Machine (JVM) crashes
  • Java Native Interface (JNI) crashes

Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Dump Analyzer performs automated analysis of dump files produced by the IBM Java VM. Starting with the name of the dump to be analyzed the analysis attempts to localize the problem and if successful produces a diagnosis of the error together with sufficient information to fix it or suggestions on how to continue the analysis using other tools (e.g. Memory Analyzer to diagnose out of memory situations). If localization fails then the tool will default to producing summary information from the dump intended to aid further diagnosis.


IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Health Center

What it's used for: Monitoring the status of a running IBM Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to help you:

  • Identify if native or heap memory is leaking
  • Discover which methods are taking most time to run
  • Pin down I/O bottlenecks
  • Visualize and tune garbage collection
  • View lock contentions
  • Analyze unusual WebSphere Real Time events

Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Health Center is a lightweight tool that monitors active IBM Virtual Machines for Java with minimal performance overhead. The Health Center suggests live tuning recommendations for Garbage Collection, profiles methods including call stacks, and highlights contended locks. This information can help you optimize performance, improve stability and optimize system resource usage.


IBM Thread and Monitor Dump Analyzer for Java [Tech Preview]

What it's used for: Analyzing Java core files to help you identify threading problems such as:

  • Hangs
  • Deadlocks
  • Resource contention
  • Bottlenecks

Description: The IBM Thread and Monitor Dump Analyzer for Java (TMDA) analyzes javacores and diagnoses monitor locks and thread activities to identify the root cause of hangs, deadlocks, and resource contention or monitor bottlenecks. It compares each javacore and provides process ID information for threads, garbage collection frequency, allocation failure frequency, and a list of hang suspects.


Database Connection Pool Analyzer for IBM WebSphere Application Server [Tech Preview]

What it's used for: Identifying Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) problems such as:

  • Connectivity problems
  • JDBC connection leaks

Description: The Database Connection Pool Analyzer for IBM WebSphere Application Server reads JDBC connection pool manager traces to analyze JDBC data sources and JDBC connection pool configurations. It can count the number of connection waiters as well as the number of connections, find Java stack traces associated with JDBC connection leaks, and display the analysis results in a variety of views.


IBM Trace and Request Analyzer for WebSphere Application Server [Tech Preview]

What it's used for: Analyzing HTTP server plug-in traces and WebSphere Application Server traces to help you:

  • Identify delays between HTTP requests and responses
  • Identify delays and hangs during application execution

Description: The WebSphere Application Server trace facility is used to obtain detailed information about running components, including application servers, clients, and other processes in the environment. It helps you find delays and possible hangs by examining WebSphere Application Server trace files and HTTP server plug-in traces.


IBM Web Server Plug-in Analyzer for WebSphere Application Server [Tech Preview]

What it's used for: Analyzing WebSphere Application Server plug-in configurations to help you find improper or ill-advised settings that could result in runtime problems.

Description:
The IBM Web Server Plug-in Analyzer for WebSphere Application Server helps you discover potential problems with trace and configuration files. Its features include:

  • Detecting configurations that could cause outages or performance degradation
  • Identifying request or response failures
  • Tracking HTTP return codes and URI failures
  • Tracking clusters and cluster members
  • Graphically visualizing runtime environment topologies


IBM Web Services Validation Tool for WSDL and SOAP [Tech Preview]

What it's used for: Validating SOAP messages and WSDL schemas to identify potential problems prior to deployment.

Description:
The current Web services architecture does not require validation of Web services messages against WSDLs during message processing, which could pose a security threat to enterprise servers hosting Web services. The Web Services Validation Tool for WSDL and SOAP helps you validate Web services messages without deploying actual Web services applications saving you time and effort by catching potential problems before deployment.


WebSphere Application Server extensions for Dump Analyzer [Tech Preview]

What it's used for: Analyzing WebSphere Application Server JVM system dumps to diagnose WebSphere specific problems.

Description:
The WebSphere Application Server modules for the IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Dump Analyzer extend the functions provided by the base Dump Analyzer tool by providing analysis modules that examine WebSphere-related data structures within a system dump from a WebSphere JVM. Various modules are provided for basic health-check and general status information, as well as several "drill-downs" into specific functional areas of WebSphere Application Server. In addition, a special module provides an interactive shell using the Jython scripting language, similar to the WebSphere "wsadmin" tool, that allows you to interactively examine data structures in the dump when no specific pre-defined analysis module is available.


Related information

Download the IBM Support Assistant Workbench
IBM Support Assistant Tool Add-ons List
How to download and install tools

Cross Reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Application Servers WebSphere Application Server
Application Servers IBM HTTP Server
Application Servers Runtimes for Java Technology

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Document information


More support for:

IBM Support Assistant
Tool Add-ons

Software version:

4.1

Operating system(s):

Linux, Windows

Reference #:

7020778

Modified date:

2011-02-28

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