Tuning Default WorkManager - Advantages and Disadvantages

Before discussing on Tuning Default WorkManager, lets have a brief introduction on What is Default WorkManger

Before Weblogic Server 9.0 release, we had the concept of Execute Queues. WebLogic Server (before WLS 9.0), processing was performed in multiple execute queues. Different classes of work were executed in different queues, based on priority and ordering requirements, and to avoid deadlocks. In addition to the default execute queue, weblogic.kernel.default, there were pre-configured queues dedicated to internal administrative traffic, such as weblogic.admin.HTTP and weblogic.admin.RMI.Users could control thread usage by altering the number of threads in the default queue, or configure custom execute queues to ensure that particular applications had access to a fixed number of execute threads, regardless of overall system load.

From WLS 9.0 release onwards WebLogic Server uses is a single thread pool (single thread pool which is called Default WorkManager), in which all types of work are executed. WebLogic Server prioritizes work based on rules you define, and run-time metrics, including the actual time it takes to execute a request and the rate at which requests are entering and leaving the pool.The common thread pool changes its size automatically to maximize throughput. The queue monitors throughput over time and based on history, determines whether to adjust the thread count. For example, if historical throughput statistics indicate that a higher thread count increased throughput, WebLogic increases the thread count. Similarly, if statistics indicate that fewer threads did not reduce throughput, WebLogic decreases the thread count. This new strategy makes it easier for administrators to allocate processing resources and manage performance, avoiding the effort and complexity involved in configuring, monitoring, and tuning custom executes queues.

The Default WorkManager is used to handle thread management and perform self-tuning.This Work Manager is used by an application when no other Work Managers are specified in the application’s deployment descriptors. In many situations, the default Work Manager may be sufficient for most application requirements. WebLogic Server’s thread-handling algorithms assign each application its own fair share by default. Applications are given equal priority for threads and are prevented from monopolizing them. The default work-manager, as its name tells, is the work-manager defined by default.Thus, all applications deployed on WLS will use it. But sometimes, when your application is already in production, it's obvious you can't take your EAR / WAR, update the deployment descriptor(s) and redeploy it.

The default work-manager belongs to a thread-pool, as initial thread-pool comes with only five threads, that's not much. If your application has to face a large number of hits, you may want to start with more than that.Well, that's quite easy. You have  two option to do so.

1) Modify the config.xml

Just add the following line(s) in your server definition :

   <server>  
   <name>AdminServer</name>  
   <self-tuning-thread-pool-size-min>100</self-tuning-thread-pool-size-min>  
   <self-tuning-thread-pool-size-max>200</self-tuning-thread-pool-size-max>  
   [...]  
   </server>  


2) Adding some JVM parameters

Add the following system property in setDomainEnv.sh/setDomainEnv.cmd or startWebLogic.sh/startWebLogic.cmd :

 -Dweblogic.threadpool.MinPoolSize=100  
 -Dweblogic.threadpool.MaxPoolSize=100   

Reboot WLS and see the option has been taken into account .

Disadvantage:

So far its fine. But here there is an disadvantage in tuning Default WorkManager. Internally Weblogic Server has many work managers configured for different types of work.  if we run out of threads in the self-tuning pool(because of system property -Dweblogic.threadpool.MaxPoolSize) due to being undersized, then important work that WLS might need to do could be starved.  So, while limiting the self-tuning would limit the default WorkManager and internally it also limits all other internal WorkManagers which WLS uses.

So the best alternative is to override the default WorkManager that means creating a WorkManager for the Application and assign the WorkManager for the application instead of tuning the Default WorkManager.

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