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FusionReactor 5 releases new features for ColdFusion server monitoring

If you haven't checked out the recently launched FusionReactor 5 (www.fusion-reactor.com) you are in for a nice surprise with many new and improved features compared with earlier versions of the ColdFusion server monitor.   At TeraTech we like using it for real-time server monitoring, to pinpoint issues and protect against server crashes.

Some of FR5's new features include....

  • New responsive user interface
  • New graphing components - no more Flash!
  • End to end user monitoring - see real user performance
  • Autowrap JDBC data sources - no more JDBC wrapper!
  • Improved alerting and notification capabilities
  • User defined transactions - instrument anything
  • Support for Hibernate and MongoDB
  • Active Session monitoring
  • HTTP Status code monitoring
  • EnGuard Server Protection
  • FusionReactor Mobile – for Android / iOS so you can monitor your server from the road or beach
  • Extended support for JBoss, Tomcat, Jetty & GlassFish J2EE platforms
  • Licensing support for elastic cloud monitoring
  • ProfileBox - FR5 extension for CF ColdBox framework

QUICK LINKS : Download, read the Release Notes, see Demo

Preventing and diagnosing ColdFusion server crashes and slow downs Thursday 11/29/12 3pm EST

  • Headaches from crashing servers got you down? Are your ColdFusion applications running slow or even crashing the server?
  • Are you concerned about what increasing load will do the the reliability of your application?
  • Do you want to protect your organizations reputation for quality on the web?

Then join us for this free webinar with Intergral's David Stockton and learn how to keep your ColdFusion servers alive and performing to their full potential. And when your server is crashing or running slow find out how to figure out what is going on and solve the problems fast so that your apps can be running reliably.

If your server is slow or sick this webinar is for you! We will look at how to diagnose problems and some common ways to heal a sick ColdFusion server. We will also discuss what tools you can use to prevent problems from occurring.

This webinar is with David Stockton, technical consultant from the FusionReactor professional JVM and ColdFusion server monitor team. David has been using ColdFusion for more than 9 years and has spoken on server tuning and load testing many times.

He will demonstrate how to:

  • continuously monitor and gather metrics on your production servers
  • diagnose server and application issues
  • keep servers alive with unattended monitoring

We will also look at the FusionAnalytics ColdFusion Application and server analysis tool.

  • better server sizing business decisions
  • improve application performance
  • improve code quality
  • measure exactly how your applications are performing over time


We will raffle off one copy of FusionReactor - you must register to enter this raffle.

The webinar on "Preventing and diagnosing ColdFusion server crashes and slow downs" is on Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST. The webinar will cover fixing slow servers, performance bottlenecks location and diagnosis tips. It will be approximately 45 minutes including time for Q and A. The webinar is free. You can register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/242091952 See you there!

David started his career developing desktop applications using Visual Basic. After a period of working on interface design and prototyping for digital television set-top boxes, he made the move to web applications and working with ColdFusion in a variety of fields, from e-commerce to social networking.


In 2006 David joined the team at Intergral Information Solutions, makers of FusionReactor, FusionDebug and FusionAnalytics. David holds a senior consulting position for the Intergral UK team. David graduated from Staffordshire University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree (with honours) in Software Engineering.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

How to cure slow/crashing ColdFusion servers - Webinar notes

Headaches from crashing servers got you down?A few weeks ago TeraTech's ColdFusion server tuning guru Ajay Sathuluri gave a webinar on How to Cure Slow and Crashing ColdFusion servers. He looked at how to diagnose problems and some common ways to heal a sick ColdFusion server. He also discussed what tools you can use to prevent problems from occurring.

If you missed the webinar you can get the notes from it by completing a short server survey here.


AjayAjay has been using ColdFusion for more than 10 years and has spoken on server tuning and load testing at CFUnited and MDCFUG.

 

Future Webinar Topics (How to cure a slow or crashing ColdFusion server)

We had overwhelming interesting this week's webinar on How to Cure a Slow or Crashing ColdFusion server with over 200 people registering. Many attendees asked if we could do future webinars in more detail on some of the following topics

  • Staging environment best practices
  • JVM settings, memory configuration
  • Garbage collection
  • Monitoring tools
  • Load testing

we are planning on doing some of these in the next few months. If you have other topics you would like to see let me know.

 

Of the attendees on the webinar the majority were using CF 8 Enterprise, with CF9 coming in a close second, followed by CF 7 and earlier.

    • §

How to cure slow/crashing ColdFusion servers - Webinar Thurs 12/3/09 1pm EST

  • Headaches from crashing servers got you down?Are your ColdFusion applications running slow or even crashing the server?
  • Are you concerned about what increasing load will do the the reliability of your application?
  • Do you want to protect your organizations reputation for quality on the web?

Then join TeraTech's ColdFusion server tuning guru Ajay Sathuluri for this webinar on what to do when your server is slow or sick. We will look at how to diagnose problems and some common ways to heal a sick ColdFusion server. We will also discuss what tools you can use to prevent problems from occurring. 


AjayAjay has been using ColdFusion for more than 10 years and has spoken on server tuning and load testing at CFUnited and MDCFUG.

The webinar on "How to cure slow and crashing ColdFusion servers"  is on Thursday Dec 3, 2009 1:00 PM  EST. The webinar will cover fixing slow servers, performance bottlenecks location and diagnosis tips. It will be approximately 45 minutes including time for Q and A. The webinar is free. You can register at  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/750953064 Hope to see you there!

 

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

CFUnited load testing session went well.

My CFUnited presentation on "Dynamic Load Testing with Webserver Stress Tool" went well. Thanks to everyone for the good feedback. 

My presentation, source, and testing scripts will be posted on the CFUnited site soon after the conference.

Congrats to the 3 raffle winners: Steven Focht (Webserver Stress Tool 7), Abram Adams (WST), Bryan Modders (FusionReactor).

Paessler will be contacting the WST winners soon with the license info.

Thanks again to Paessler and Intergal.

Presenting at CFUnited on load testing

CFUnited is next week!

I'll be presenting on Wednesday on "Dynamic Load Testing with Webserver Stress Tool". I'll be covering Basic, parameterized, and scripted load testing. It's a fairly inexpensive tool, but can do some powerful testing.

This week I also found out I'll be able to raffle 3 software licenses: 2 licenses for Paessler Webserver Stress Tool, and 1 for FusionReactor server monitor! ($1000 worth of software). Licenses sponsored by Paessler and Intergral, respectively.

Topics:

  • Test Types
  • setting up a set of URLs
  • Multiple users
  • URLs bound to a dataset (parameterize the tested URLs, merge with a dataset; one set for each user)
  • Scripting, instead of list of URLs
  • Simulate multiple simultaneous CF sessions
  • How to simulate AJAX calls
  • Test results and logs; where's the most useful information

 

CFUnited - High Availability & Clustering Presentation - Hands On Details

My presentation on HA-Clustering at CFUnited actually consisted of two parts.  Firstly there was the PowerPoint bit which I uploaded to the CFUnited server and then there was the practical part which I would like to overview here for those who could not make the event.

I had intended to use two VMware copies of Windows 2003 Enterprise (32Bit) with Windows Network Load Balancing (NLB) running as the web server clustering mechanism,  ColdFusion Enterprise 8.01 and MySQL 5.0.  I attempted this on my Windows XP notebook with 3GB Ram and after several attempts I gave up because I just could not get enough responsiveness, I could never have gotten through the presentation effectively.  However, I do intend to attempt this again, in future.

Instead I reverted to running the tests on my notebook and the details are as follows:

 

  • System - Dell Inspiron E1705 with 3GB Ram running Windows XP. 
  • CF Version - ColdFusion Enterprise 8.01, installed in the multi instance manner with two instances clustered with RoundRobin algorithm.
  • Servlet Container - JRun 4 Updater 6.
  • JVM - Sun 1.6 (aka 6).
  • Web Server Apache 2.0.59
  • Test Application - cfwhisperer blog lab copy based on Mango blog.
  • Load Test Tool - Paessler Web Stress Tool.
  • Server Utility - SeeFusion version 4.0.7


I created a load test script by simply browsing the lab copy of the cfwhisperer blog in the URL recorder inside the Paessler Web Server Stress Tool and saving the URLs; this took me about 5 minutes total  and I had a very usable test script, that is one of the reasons I really like the Paessler tool.  I recorded 18 clicks in total as I have found around 20 to be optimal, for most test scenarios. As my presentation was only 60 minutes total I only showed one 10 minute test.   I kicked off the test which was running against the Apache web server which I connected to the two instance CF cluster with the wsconfig GUI utility.  So this was a 10 minute load test with 20 concurrent vUsers with 8 second think time between clicks.  As the test was running I first stopped one instance and we immediately observed the response times climb from an average of 300 milliseconds to a peak of over 20 seconds and then fall back to 300 milliseconds, this took around 30 seconds and although response times went up we still responded to requests.  I left this for a couple of minutes then restarted the stopped instance there was no similar slowdown as the instance came back, but we did see a slight rise to 600 milliseconds.  I then repeated the exercise by stopping the other instance and we observed similar results. 

My intention is to at least repeat this at cfdevcon in Brighton, England in September, 2008 and hopefully extend it a bit if I can.

CFUnited - High Availability & Clustering Presentation - Part 2 - Hardware & Software Clustering

This is the second in a series of blog posts leading up to my presentation on Clustering at CFUnited on June 20, 2008 at 2:00PM.  Clustering has been available to us in two apparently different forms.  Hardware Clustering and Software Clustering.  I say apparently different as some digging reveals interesting items, particularly as they relate to the current Software Clustering offered with ColdFusion – JRun.

Before looking more deeply into those issues, I wanted to lay out some basic differences between Hardware and Software Clustering.  In my view a Hardware Clustering system exists when there is a dedicated piece of hardware whose only job is to handle Clustering (Fail-Over and/or Load-Balancing).  One detail of note here, the Hardware Clustering device needs Clustering Software to operate. 

Software Clustering typically means that the Clustering Software is installed on an existing server, not a dedicated Hardware device.  One noted example of Software Clustering is Windows Network Load Balancing (aka NLB).  This is a bit of a misnomer, as this is a Clustering mechanism which includes Load-Balancing as well as Fail-Over.   Another example of Software clustering is the Clustering offered in ColdFusion-JRun which is actually based on J2EE standards.

If we dig a little deeper into the current J2EE clustering used in ColdFusion and JRun; since CF moved to Java with the MX version forward.   We see what I would class as a subset of full Software Clustering.  The reason I believe this is that J2EE clustering as applied the CF-JRun is a sub-set of Software Clustering is that it is purely peer-to-peer with no overall service watching all Cluster members.  Typically we would not only have multiple ColdFusion severs-instances but also multiple web servers or we would not have full redundancy.  Fail-Over over is not covered at the CF-JRun level if a Web server fails.  There has to be a higher level system to do this such as Windows NLB or a Hardware Clustering device.  As an historical point;  prior to MX, ColdFusion-JRun had a much more fully featured Software Clustering system called “ClusterCATS”, this did embrace to concept of a central monitoring-management service and Web server Fail-Over.  This was always tricky though if ColdFusion was deployed in the “distributed-mode” where the Web server and ColdFusion were on different physical devices. 

The last consideration in this piece, is when would we use Hardware or Software Clustering or both.  Typically Hardware Clustering scenarios are much more robust than Software Clustering, as that is their only job in life.  Having said that; Windows NLB claims support for up to 32 servers.  Going back to the Allaire-ColdFusion clustering, ClusterCATS, our testing showed that 8 servers was a good point to consider Hardware Clustering. 

Lastly, the overall term here is “Clustering” and within Clustering we have Fail-Over and Load-Balancing so the often used term “Load Balancing Device” should actually be “Clustering Device”.

CFUnited - High Availability & Clustering Presentation - Part 1 - An Overview Of Clustering

I will be presenting at CFUnited on Friday June 20, 2008, on the subject of High Availability (HA)-Clustering for ColdFusion/JRun applications and I intend to make this as practical as possible. Having spent many years travelling the world helping to fix slow or unresponsive ColdFusion applications, I see HA as a natural progression to this and in fact Load-Balancing, which is a part of Clustering, has a direct impact on improving performance.

There is a point, often overlooked by even the manufacturers of clustering/load balancing equipment. Clustering is the overall term which, in my opinion, applies whenever two items or more appear as one, to the users. In our world, that typically means multiple web servers, with multiple application and database servers.

With this aspect of Clustering there are two services which are a part of the Clustering; Fail-Over and Load-Balancing. In my experience Fail-Over is always present, meaning if one member of the Cluster fails the remaining members ensure that continuity of service is maintained. This is a prime function of a Cluster.

Load-Balancing is the apportioning of load around members of the Cluster, typically an even distribution of the load is what is required. The most even distribution is via Round-Robin which means each single request moves around the Cluster members, like this (this example shows a 3 member Cluster):

  • USER 1 > REQUEST1 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 2 > REQUEST1 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 1 > REQUEST2 > CLUSTERMEMBER2

  • USER 2 > REQUEST2 > CLUSTERMEMBER2

  • USER 1 > REQUEST3> CLUSTERMEMBER3

  • USER 2 > REQUEST3> CLUSTERMEMBER3

  • USER 1 > REQUEST4 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 2 > REQUEST4 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

This is the most evenly balanced Load Balancing algorithm and as I mentioned above is the Round-Robin algorithm. Problems can occur with that algorithm if there are user specific items in memory on one of the Cluster members, for instance in memory session state variables. If USER1 has logged in to CLUSTERMEMBER1 above and their details are in session variables on CLUSTERMEMBER1 when users next request takes them to CLUSTERMEMBER2 those in memory session state variables will not be there. My preference for the optimal Load-Balancing algorithm is Round-Robin with Sticky Sessions. In the case a user “sticks” to a Cluster member as follows: 

  • USER 1 > REQUEST1 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 2 > REQUEST1 > CLUSTERMEMBER2

  • USER 1 > REQUEST2 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 2 > REQUEST2 > CLUSTERMEMBER2

  • USER 1 > REQUEST3> CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 2 > REQUEST3> CLUSTERMEMBER2

  • USER 1 > REQUEST4 > CLUSTERMEMBER1

  • USER 2 > REQUEST4 > CLUSTERMEMBER2

    This is not quite as evenly balanced as Round-Robin alone but unless there is a failure of one Cluster member the user will not lose their session state variables and the load balances across all Cluster members eventually.

This article serves as the first in a series of posts leading up to the CFUnited presentation and my next one will delve into differences between Hardware and Software Clustering.

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