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Solve performance woes with app monitoring

JavaOne speaker Chris Hansen of New Relic previews his discussion about the benefits of conducting performance app monitoring.

Of the 2,252 sessions scheduled for the JavaOne conference in San Francisco, many are highly technical in nature. Yet, sometimes, looking at an app from a non-bits-and-bytes perspective can provide insight that allows developers to better understand -- and eliminate -- the frustrations that users can encounter. That's the idea behind the session "It's Not You; It's Your App," being led by Chris Hansen, engineering manager at New Relic Inc., a software analytics company based in San Francisco.

"The goal of performance monitoring is not to watch the infrastructure, but to oversee the behavior of individual apps," said Hansen. "Your server infrastructure may be running fine, but problems could be related to whether each app is written in an optimal way or whether confederated services are working well together. The idea of performance monitoring is to make the opaque transparent."

Pinpointing performance issues caused by an application or service running on a Java virtual machine provides useful information for any developer, including types of requests, response time, error rate, heap usage, loaded classes and thread count, according to Hansen.

Hansen also plans to examine performance bottlenecks and whether they occur within the program code, in a called service or in the process of communicating with outside data sources. "If 20% of the delay is related to calling a microservice, it's something you want to map," said Hansen. "Once you know the bottleneck is driven by external forces, you could opt to choose a different service or provider."

The idea of performance monitoring is to make the opaque transparent.
Chris Hansenengineering manager, New Relic Inc.

The goal in app monitoring, Hansen said, is to optimize performance and scale. "People want APIs and services that respond quickly. If you don't monitor how the different aspects of an application behave, achieving that optimization becomes more difficult."

Set up in a birds-of-a-feather format, Hansen anticipates a lively interactive discussion and exchange of ideas. "It's Not You; It's Your App" takes place at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, in the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Golden Gate rooms two and three.

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