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From dean gaudet <>
Subject perf tuning (RE: test harness for Apache)
Date Sat, 07 Jul 2001 02:19:43 GMT
On Thu, 5 Jul 2001 wrote:

> Does anyone know the best way/methods/tools to monitor web applications
> running on Apache written in java, jsp and some CGI?  Is server-status good?
> Any hints on what to look for?  Any books on performance or white papers?  I
> need to isolate performance problems on the webserver - would like to not
> have to spend $$ for additional monitoring tools.

i get a lot of mileage out of the standard tools that come with each unix.

"vmstat 5" is usually the first thing i type on a system with a
performance problem.  i eschew "top" 'cause it doesn't give you the info
in a useful format.

strace or truss are usually the second thing i go for.

your jvm may reduce the usefulness of strace -- it may be difficult to
piece together what syscalls are for which request.  strace/truss work at
the kernel syscall level, which is higher than the thread level in some
unixes (i.e. solaris).

typically what i do is use "strace -r -tt -T -ff -o trace -p pid1 -p pid2
...".  then i start studying those -- what i'm looking for is long periods
spent in a syscall or long periods between syscalls.

i suggest writing a perl script which understands your application's
syscall patterns and groups them into larger chunks, such as "time spent
querying database", "time spent accessing NFS", "time spent allocating
memory".  then start looking at the requests which take an inordinate
amount of time.

there's no single approach which attacks a networked system performance
problem.  you have to look at all the info you can dig up.

you can probably also find a profiler for your jvm which will give you
different and useful information on your java code itself.  i tend to look
at profiles after i've done the system level stuff above, because profiles
require me to understand the code.  (whereas system level stuff is

the server-status doesn't really give you much to go on for performance
tuning.  although it does help you with one thing:  tuning the MaxChilds
setting.  in concert with vmstat you want to set MaxChilds such that you
don't swap.


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