Using VMStat inside GlassFish...

Screen dump from JVM monitoring

The old Unix command vmstat(1M) is a workhorse for finding out what your system is doing. Now Jane shows how GlassFish has a similar mechanism; check this image for instance - or go to her blog for more examples.

Administration and monitoring is a typical place where administrators write all sorts of useful scripts. Sun's Web Server has a TCL interpreter embedded; GlassFish has a nice CLI but it is proprietary. Abhijit was brainstorming that perhaps we could use JSR-223 to plug different interpreters. Another separate idea would be to help people share useful scripts. What do you think?


     I think the domain calls for two different solutions. One a simple
scripting language to automate the common tasks. (Our CLI in WebWerver
is an example of this).

     The other is related to monitoring. What we need to do is to provide
a flexible environment to the user so that s/he can create tools like vmstat
with out significant amount of effort. 
    The tools used for monitoring generally produce a running total, Producing
these tools using conventional scripting languages are some what a pain as they
are more oriented towards calculating values statically than analyzing a
running stream of values.

    What we should ideally do (my view) is to go for a framework like that of
the unix pipes that act on the monitoring data streams to provide running

    There are various examples of this (not in monitoring though) being used.
One interesting example is the Yahoo pipes,
which allows others to create custom atom feeds from multiple sources.

    While what yahoo has is primarily visual interface, the interesting thing
is that it will be easy to change switch back and forth from this to interface
to any of the dataflow programming languages (lucid, lusture etc.) or even to
a slightly extended unix pipeline syntax.

If this could be accomplished, we could provide a clean UI both for people who
are more comfortable with the GUI and for people who like CLI better, and would
enable sharing of code between both parties.

Posted by rahul on April 29, 2007 at 10:15 AM PDT #

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