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WebSphere App Server (WAS) Version 5 boasts a broad array of new system tools, and the ebizQ webinar End-to-End Performance of WebSphere Applications explored how developers could use those tools to monitor and optimize end-to-end performance.

“End-to-end response time has probably as much to do with maximizing the end-user experience as any other element of Web application design,” IBM Executive Consultant Alan Dickman maintained during the webinar, part of the ebizQ Best Practices for WebSphere series, sponsored by Candle Corp.

“There are a lot of things to keep track of in the WebSphere environment and a lot of things that users need to look at in order to assure peak performance,” pointed out Candle Advisory Marketing Manager Mary Hall. “It’s important to look at the service your users are getting on the Web site, to make sure that transactions are completed. It’s important to look at overall system and application health. And to do that, there’s a wide variety of things you need to continually check the performance of.”

Dickman gave an overview of the WebSphere performance architecture, then went into testing end-to-end performance, tuning the WAS environment, workload management and load balancing, programming best practices for WAS Version 5, and the design of back-end database environments.

Dickman’s specific testing recommendations included:

  • Frequent pinging -- and browsing: “No other tool that you’re going to work with measures the end-user experience like sitting at a computer and using your browser,” he pointed out.

  • Smart development, automation and frequent running of real-world user cases; as Dickman notes, a full-text search done at midnight might differ from a commerce transaction at noon.

  • Optimizing application processing time through design and development, and accounting for network latency in the design, although it is not under application developer control, “so that the combination doesn’t exceed user response time requirements”

  • Working with database vendors’ tools to analyze performance and detect bottlenecks.

“Like the airlines, you should be able to pass the tests at above peak, maybe 10-25 percent,” he noted.


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