Speaker Photo
Ram Lakshmanan

GCeasy.io, FastThread.io, HeapHero.io

Micro-metrics to forecast performance Tsunamis

Elevator Pitch
In recent times, hyper sensitive micro-metrics measuring technologies are employed to forecast Tsunamis. Similarly, it's hard to forecast production performance problems beforehand. In this session you will learn the micro-metrics to be measured in dev/test environments that can forecast production performance problems with fair level of accuracy.


Most enterprises measure macro-metrics (response time, CPU utilization, memory consumption) only. These macro-metrics aren't adequate to forecast lot of production performance problems. Below is the list of micro-metrics that an enterprise can measure to forecast and detect performance problems:

1. GC Latency

In all the modern platforms, garbage collection is automatic. Even though GC is automatic, it's not free. GC pauses entire application. It means all the customer transactions that are in motion will be frozen until GC completes. GC latency is good micro-metrics to measure. GC latency is the amount of timew application is paused to do garbage collection. Increase in GC latency is a lead indicator of memory problems in the application.

2. GC Throughput

Garbage collection throughput is the amount of time your application spends in processing customer transactions vs amount of time it spends in doing garbage collection. One should target for high throughput (i.e. application should spend more time in processing customer transactions and less time in GC). Degradation in GC throughput is a lead indicator of increase in compute resource consumption.

3. Object creation/reclamation/promotion rate

The rate at which objects are created heavily influences CPU utilization. If inefficient data structures or code are used, then more objects will be generated to process the same number of transactions. A high object creation rate translates to frequent reclamation (i.e. Garbage Collection). Frequent GC translates to increased CPU consumption. Increase in Object creation/reclamation rate is a classic indicator of memory/CPU problems that is pervasive in the application.

4. Thread count and states

Application threads can be different states: NEW, RUNNABLE, WAITING, TIME_WAITING, BLOCKED, TERMINATED. If there is an increase in count of particular type of thread states, it should be evaluated. Too many BLOCKED threads can make application unresponsive. Too many RUNNABLE threads can cause CPU spikes.

5. Thread groups and their utilization

Thread group is a collection of threads doing particular type of tasks. Enterprise applications can have multiple thread groups. Each group thread count and states of those threads should be analyzed. Sometimes threads in critical thread groups may be fully consumed, sometimes there could be overallocation, sometimes there could be under allocation.

6. Memory wastage

Application memory is wasted in the form of duplicate objects, suboptimal data types, inefficient data structures, over-allocated but underutilized objects. We want to constantly measure memory wastage between releases. If there is an increase in the amount of memory wastage then application will suffer memory problems, response time degradations and CPU spikes.

How to source these micro-metrics?

GC Latency, GC Throughput, Object creation/reclamation/promotion rate metrics can be sourced from garbage collection logs. Thread Count and states, thread groups and their utilization metrics can be sourced from thread dumps. Memory wastage metrics can be sourced from heap dumps. In this session brief overview will be given on how to capture and analyze GC logs, thread dumps and heap dumps as well.

About Ram Lakshmanan

Every single day millions & millions of people in North America travel, bank and do commerce using the applications that Ram Lakshmanan has architected. He has developed one of the world’s largest banking application which is used by 1 in 3 USA households. He has designed a B2B travel application which processes 70% of North America’s Leisure travel bookings. Ram is the founder of the highly popular DevOps tools GCeasy.io, fastThread.io, heapHero.io. Ram advices startups, Fortune 500 enterprises, Governmental organizations on their critical technology initiatives. He is a highly sought speaker in major developer conferences all throughout the world.
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramlakshman