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From Anurag Kapur <>
Subject Tomcat 5.5.25 | Memory leak in Web Application
Date Fri, 08 Oct 2010 19:15:47 GMT
*Problem Statement*

Memory leak in web application running on Tomcat

*System Information*

Tomcat 5.5.27

Apache HTTPD 2.2.9

Java HotSpot(TM) Server VM (build 1.5.0_14-b03, mixed mode)

Mod_proxy_http connector

Solaris 10 x86

Tomcat JVM heap settings: min:2GB and max:2GB

*Observations and Investigation Done*

Under load, the web application slowly runs out of heap space. The heap
utilization graph suggests a memory leak type pattern.

Heap dumps were gathered to determine the root cause and observations are as
below from the dumps:

   1. HashMap entries from the below object reference tree seem to consume
   over 80% of the used tenured generation space.








   1. Heap dumps gathered during different times and after a Full GC always
   indicate 100 entries
   2. The number of objects referenced by each HashMap entry vary between
      1. These are either a String and JspServletWrapper object


    1. A String, JspServletWrapper and *another HashMap Entry*. This call
      reference tree of HashMap entries referenced by another HashMap entry can
      repeat to a depth of approximately 8-10 nodes

The above is indicated in an object reference tree obtained after analyzing
the Heap dump as shown below

   1. The maximum percentage of the memory occupied by the HashMap entry
   object is by a character array that seems like the JSP servlet response.
   HTML response (tags with content) can be seen in the character array


   1. I am stuck at this point and have run out of ideas on how to get to
   the root cause of this issue. Do you have any ideas/suggestions to help
   identify the root cause?
   2. I google and found the following interesting links
      1. Is
      there any know issues, configuration that causes a memory leak
by caching of
      servlet responses in the container and not flushing the cached objects?
use a lot of JSTL in our web application. Are there any known issues
      around memory issues as indicated on the link?

Any inputs to help identify the root cause of this problem would be highly

Kind Regards


Anurag Kapur

Senior Associate - Technology,
Sapient Corporation.

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