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10 Critical Causes for Java EE Enterprise Performance

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During the design and implementation of technologies related to Java EE, performance problems tend to be one of the most crucial challenges. The most common problems faced while providing Java development services are usually faced while implementing large or lightweight IT environments, which generally incorporate a plethora of distributed systems from ordering applications and Web portals to ESB or Enterprise Service Bus, Mainframe storage systems and data warehouse. Let us discuss here the 10 most critical causes of performance problems related to Java EE and see how we can deal with them.

1. Improper capacity planning

Once a capacity planning process is properly implemented, it keeps track of the current IT production stability and capacity and also ensures deployment of new projects with minimal risk with the existing production environment. Capacity planning is often the most happening process problem leading to long and short term performance issues. Some problems that may arise are: post deployment, a new middleware system of Java EE fails to handle the expected volume or an application after deployment poses an overload for the current Native Heap or Java Heap space.

To avoid these problems, load and performance testing should be done effectively for determination of order volumes or number of concurrent users and exposure of the bottlenecks, thereby making room for corrective actions. Several existing technologies help in achieving these goals.

2. Lack of adequate middleware environment specifications for Java EE

Lack of proper decisions at the start of a new platform can cause stability problems leading to enhanced costs. Therefore, it is necessary to spend considerable time for brainstorming on necessary middleware specifications related to Java EE.

It is highly recommended that project team should spend quality time over the creation of a proper operation model catering to the Java EE production environment. Moreover, 64-bit JVM should be chosen over a 32-bit JVM as and when required, and the same should be combined with proper performance testing and capacity planning.

3. Unnecessary garbage collection for Java VM

When the JVM GC collectors perform an unnecessary number of minor or major collections in a short span of time, it leads to high pause time and degradation of performance. Possible causes might be small size of Java Heap, unsuitable JVM GC policy, amongst others.

Properly analyzing the JVM related data (CPU correlation, GC frequency, etc) enables one to determine whether there is a problem or not. It is also advisable to closely comprehend and monitor the JVM garbage collection process.

4. Poor or excessive synchronization with external systems

Java EE performance problems can also be due to greatly distributed systems, wherein a middleware domain usually delegates certain business processes like order management, customer profile and product qualification, to other middleware platforms of Java EE by means of diverse communication protocols and payload types. In such cases, it is significant to shield the middleware and applications through appropriate utilization of timeouts.

5. Improper database SQL capacity planning and tuning

Java EE enterprise systems are mostly dependable upon relational databases for a range of business processes from order provisioning systems to portal content management. A robust database environment ensures a scalable IT environment that renders effective support to the client’s growing needs. The most common problems are long-running, isolated SQLs, row or table level data lock and abrupt change in execution plan.

SQL level problems need to be identified and the database environment should be fine-tuned in order to ensure effective capacity planning involving performance and load testing.

6. Application oriented performance problems

The common problems in this category are inadequate communication API timeouts, thread safe code problems, issues related to relational, JDBC or I/O API resource management, excessive or improper data caching and excessive logging.

To overcome the application oriented problems, code reviews should be a significant component of the regular development lifecycle in addition to the release management process. This enables the pinpointing of primary implementation issues before the testing or implementation phases.

7. Tuning problems related to Java EE middleware

The specification of Java EE middleware might be sufficient but there may be absence of proper tuning. A large number of the Java EE containers available nowadays provide manifold tuning scopes depending on the business process and application needs.

Lack of proper tuning can set the Java EE container in a state that is non-optimal. Therefore it is advisable to go for vendor recommendation related to implementation of appropriate Java EE middleware.

8. Lack of sufficient proactive monitoring

Lack of monitoring can pose a hindrance in understanding the Java EE health situation and platform capacity. Ultimately the environment may tend towards a breakpoint, exposing several problems and gaps. Hence it is good to enhance the existing environment through end-to-end review and monitoring.

9. Hardware saturation on common infrastructure

This problem is mostly visible when deployment of a number of JVM processes and Java EE middleware environments are carried out on the existing hardware. It kills the application’s performance. A common solution is hardware virtualization which results in reduced data center size, fast implementation, reduced costs and so on.

10. Problems related to network latency

Major network problems like DNS server, switch and router failures may happen now and then but the mostly common ones originate from intermittent network latency. Tuning strategies like data caching, XML data compression and JDBC row data "prefetch" may reduce network latency.

It is indeed important for Java EE developers and IT architects to thoroughly comprehend their clients’ environments and make sure that the advised solutions cater to the growing needs of businesses as well as ensure a reliable, scalable and productive IT environment for a long time. The performance problems that disrupt client’s business should be minimized to prevent loss of revenue.

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