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This month we got to interview Ed Lycklama, previously the chief technology officer and co-founder of Sitraka. Ed is recognized as an expert in Java technology-based application performance issues, and JavaPerformanceTuning.com asked him some questions on Java performance.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Sure. I?m the Chief Architect, J2EE Solutions for Sitraka, which has recently been acquired by Quest Software. My responsibilities include providing technical direction for Quest?s J2EE performance management strategy, and interfacing with product groups to define J2EE product integration strategies.
Q. What do you consider to be the biggest Java performance issue currently?
Java applications run in a variety of environments (everywhere from hand-helds to huge mainframes) and the performance challenges are very different for each. With server-side applications written for J2EE application servers, the performance challenges typically revolve around excessive or inefficient accesses to backend systems such as databases, naming directories, and mainframe systems.
Q. Do you know of any requirements that potentially affect performance significantly enough that you find yourself altering designs to handle them?
Many enterprise-class applications include a requirement to support a large number of concurrent users. I have yet to see the implications of that requirement spelled out in detail. In general, a large number of concurrent users increase the contention on critical resources. Any exclusive access to those shared resources should be streamlined to avoid unnecessary queuing. Finding ways to avoid accessing that resource by employing a data caching strategy will also reduce overall contention.
Q. Can you tell us a little about Sitraka's products?
With several award-winning products that help companies to pinpoint and eliminate performance hazards in mission-critical J2EE applications Sitraka, recently acquired by Quest Software, has been a long standing leader in the Java market. Products include PerformaSure, a transaction-centric J2EE diagnosis solution, JProbe performance tuning tools, JClass Java components and DeployDirector, a Java application deployment solution.
Q. How has the acquisition affected things?
The combination of Quest and Sitraka enables us to offer customers additional value in the form of a leading application management product set that spans the application life cycle, all from a single-source supplier with a global infrastructure and public company accountability.
Customers can rest assured of business as usual at Sitraka.
Q. What are the most common performance related mistakes that you have seen projects make when developing Java applications?
Well, as stated in a previous answer, one of the biggest mistakes is failing to take scalability requirements into account when designing the overall application. Failure to do so can result in last-minute fire-fighting disasters, threatened deployment dates, alienated customers and exploded budgets.
Q. Have you found any Java performance benchmarks useful?
I?m not a big believer in performance benchmarks, especially in areas as complicated as J2EE applications that span diverse computing platforms and interact with legacy applications.
Q. Do you know of any performance related tools that you would like to share with our readers?
I?m glad you asked that! Let me tell you a little more about our two product families focused on J2EE performance.
PerformaSure is a transaction-centric diagnosis tool that helps companies to measure, analyze and maximize performance of multi-tiered J2EE applications during load testing and before costly problems occur in production.
JProbe is a comprehensive, award-winning toolkit for diagnosing code errors and inefficiencies. With performance profiling, memory debugging, thread analysis and code coverage tools, JProbe paints graphical pictures of everything from memory usage to calling relationships, helping developers understand precisely what is causing problems in a Java application - right down to the offending line of source code.
Together, PerformaSure and JProbe provide a highly targeted solution that enables rapid identification and repair of business-threatening performance problems.
Q. Do you have any particular performance tips you would like to tell our readers about?
How about some advice: every application is different, and will have its own performance and scalability issues. The only way to determine what those issues are, and how you can get the most out of your application (whether that means supporting more users with less hardware, or delivery responses more quickly), is to measure your application with realistic scenarios and use a highly targeted performance assurance solution to identify and eliminate costly performance problems. 0bviously I?d like to recommend PerformaSure and JProbe - but in any case - use something: remember, if you can?t measure it, you can?t fix it.
(End of interview).
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