Masoud Kalali has a software engineering degree and has been working on software development projects since 1998. He has experience with a variety of technologies (.NET, J2EE, CORBA, and COM+) on diverse platforms (Solaris, Linux, and Windows). His experience is in software architecture, design, and server-side development. Masoud has published several articles at and Dzone. He has authored multiple refcards, published by Dzone, including but not limited to Using XML in Java, Java EE Security and GlassFish v3 refcardz. He is one of the founder members of NetBeans Dream Team and a GlassFish community spotlighted developer. Recently Masoud's new book, GlassFish Security has been published which covers GlassFish v3 security and Java EE 6 security. Masoud's main area of research and interest includes service-oriented architecture and large scale systems' development and deployment and in his leisure time he enjoys photography, mountaineering and camping. Masoud's can be followed at his Twitter account. Masoud has posted 82 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Monitoring GlassFish Application Server's HTTP Service Using VisualVM

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The GlassFish application server has some monitoring features which are exposed through its administration channels including Administration Console and asadmin utility. I disucssed some of these features here and in this we will see how we can use visualvm and its plugin as a desktop application to monitor GlassFish HTTP service.

VisualVM is JDK tool based on NetBeans platform, NetBeans profiler, and a handful of plug-ins which let us profile any Java application running in JDK 6 or 7. VisualVM does not works with older JDK or any JRE either 6 or 7. Starting from JDK 6 update 7 visualVM is included in the Sun JDK distribution.

Downloading and installing latest version of visualVM is straight forward, just point to Download Page grab the zip file, extract the zip file content and you are ready to go. Follow the installation instruction (4 very easy steps) here

Now, to monitor GlassFish HTTP service we need to install a visualVM plugin that can interact with GlassFish application server through its JMX/ AMX API to gather the statistics and let us view them live in our desktop application. Run visualVM using the provided script in the bin directory, Open Tools>Plugins menu item and from the available plug-ins section select VisualVM-GlassFish and press install button to install the plug-in. Restart VisualVM and now we are ready to connect to a GlassFish instance.


Now we have two options, we can either monitor a local Glassfish instance or we can select to monitor a remote Glassfish instance. All local JVM are listed under the local node and in order to create a remote connection we need to register the host under the Remote node by right clicking on the node and adding the remote host, in my case I add Now on the remote host we may have several JXM enabled applications running, each application on its own port. Default JMX port for GlassFish application server is 8686, therefore to add a GlassFish application server running on we can right click on its node under the Remote node and select add JMX connection, a window will open which asks you to provide the connection information including port number and credentials. default administration credentials for GlassFish are admin/ adminadmin as username/ password. A_figure02.jpeg

Now that The remote GlassFish is registered the right side panel should be similar to the fillowing figure


In my case I have a remote and a local GlassFish instances, When you double click on an instance a window will open that shows all monitoring information which VisialVM can gather about the running application in different panels, something similar to the following figure


This page shows general information about the JVM which we are going to monitor and some of the plug-in specific configuration which we may need to change. Make sure that you turn the HTTP Service monitoring level and WebContainer Monitoring Level to High or LOW which will result in GlassFish gathering monitoring statistics about the HTTP Service.


Now let your application server get some hit from the clients and then switch to HTTP Service Tab in order to get a general overview of your Server HTTP Service performance. Failed, Incoming, Average connections, Keep Alive, and File Cache performance can be monitored here. Following Figure shows HTTP Service Tab


Now the funny part begins, Assuming that we have a dozen of application hosted in the same GlassFish instance we expect to be able to monitor each application separately to see how HTTP service is performing for that particular application. It is easy and do-able in no more than 3 steps. Under the GlassFish node you can see Model and under the Model you can see different web applications that you have hosted in your server, double clicking on any of those applications result in viewing the HTTP Service statistics for that particular application. For example If I double click on the admingui I will get a result page similar to the next figure.


The fun part continues further I tell you that you can monitor different servlets used in your application separately. for example I can expand the admingui node and double click on ThemeServlet to get an statistical view similar to the next figure.


All statistical information which are shown includes two major factors, processing time and error/ request count. in addition to average processing time, maximum processing time, and so on.




Published at DZone with permission of its author, Masoud Kalali.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


petro peter replied on Mon, 2009/04/06 - 9:53am

I am not able to view Profiler tab, when I added remote glassfish domain. jstatd is running on remote server. Am I missing something? Thanks for your help. Petro

jame jack replied on Wed, 2009/06/17 - 7:46pm

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