How to collect Oracle Application Server performance data with DMS and RRDtool

RRDize everything, chapter 1

If you are managing some Application Server deployments you should have wondered how to check and collect performance data.
As stated in documentation, you can gather performance metrics with the dmstool utility.
AFAIK, this can be done from 9.0.2 release upwards, but i’m concerned DMS will not work on Weblogic.

Mainly, you should have an external server that acts as collector (it could be a server in the Oracle AS farm as well): copy the dms.jar library from an Oracle AS installation to your collector and use it as you would use dmstool:

There are three basilar methods to get data:

Get all metrics at once:

Get only the interesting metrics:

Get metrics included into specific DMS tables:

What youraddress:// is, it depends on the component you are trying to connect:

If you are trying to connect to the OHS (Apache), be careful to allow remote access from the collector by editing the dms.conf file.

Now that you can query dms data, you should store it somewhere.
Personally, I did a first attempt with dmstool -dump format=xml. I wrote a parser in PHP with SimpleXML extension and I did a lot of inserts into a MySQL database. After a few months the whole data collected from tens of servers was too much to be mantained…
To avoid the maintenance of a DWH-grade database I investigated and found RRDTool. Now I’m asking how could I live without it!

I then wrote a parser in awk that parse the output of the dms.jar call and invoke an rrdtool update command.
I always use dms.jar -table command. The output has always the same format:

So I written an awk file that works for me.
use it this way:

And this is the code for update_metric_rrd:

Once you have all your rrd files populated, it’s easy to script automatic reporting. You would probably want a graph with the request count served by your Apache cluster, along with its linear regression:

This is the result:
OHS request completed
OHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! COOL!!!!

That’s all for DMS capacity planning. Stay tuned, more about rrdtool is coming!

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Ludovico

Oracle ACE Director and Computing Engineer at CERN
Ludovico is an Oracle ACE Director, frequent speaker and community contributor, working as Computing Engineer at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Switzerland.

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