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new.png Configuring and tuning WebSphere Application Server (WAS)

Authors: StevenBeard, GrantCovell, TimFeeney
Build basis: Jazz applications and environments

This page covers specific guidance and best practices for tuning WAS for Jazz applications and environments. See General WAS top tuning recommendations for information about non-Jazz specific WAS tuning.

Monitor, Monitor, Monitor

The recommendations made should be vetted and regularly reviewed based on data collected by systematic deployment monitoring.

Review the default WAS settings

Review the instructions at Setting up WAS.

Review the default JVM settings

Be sure you start with the minimum recommended JVM settings.

  • -Xmx4G - The maximum JVM heap setting. It should be set to no more than half of the available memory on the computer that hosts the Jazz application. In this example, it is set to 4 GB, which assumes that you have at least 8 GB of memory on the computer that hosts this Jazz application instance.
  • -Xms4G - The minimum JVM heap setting. It should be set to the same value as the maximum JVM heap setting.
  • -Xmn512M - The maximum "nursery" size. Add this setting for older versions of WAS (7.X and lower). Beginning with WAS 8.0, the JVM makes very good decisions on nursery size, so this should not generally be set.
    • Older versions of WAS (7.X and lower) - This should be set to 1/8 of the value that your settings for the maximum and minimum JVM heap are set. In some situations (usually validated by close examination of JVM garbage collection logs), this value may be increased to 1/4 of the value of the maximum and minimum JVM heap settings.
    • There are customers whose first tuning action is to add RAM to their server and correspondingly increase the JVM heap settings.

  • -Xgcpolicy:gencon - The garbage collection policy that the JVM uses. Use "gencon", and don't make changes unless you have read about and fully understand JVM garbage collection and how it impacts the performance of the Jazz applications. This is the default for WAS 7 and newer.
  • -Xcompressedrefs - Indicates use of compressed references in the JVM. Use this setting unless explicitly told otherwise.

Additionally, on all platforms except AIX:

  • -Xgc:preferredHeapBase=0x100000000 - The preferred base address of the heap. Use this setting unless explicitly told otherwise.

If you are not using IPv6, consider disabling IPv6 support in the JVM:

  • -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true - This setting tells the JVM to only use IPv4.

Consider enabling large page sizes if your version of WAS does not already support them by default. If you are using Java 7 in WAS 8.5.0.2 or greater this setting is automatic.

  • -Xlp - Note that if your operating system doesn't also support large pages, Java does not start with this setting enabled. For example, on Linux, large pages must be configured both in the Linux kernel and in the JVM.

Review the WebContainer thread pool settings

  • The default WAS WebContainer thread pool settings are a minimum and maximum size of 50. Set the minimum and maximum size to 200 for Jazz applications. Realize that increase threads might increase memory consumption and push a greater amount of load onto the database. As is the case whenever you change any setting, be sure to monitor the rest of the environment in case there are side effects.

Review the JDBC connection and mediator pool settings

  • Set the JDBC Connection pool size and mediator pool size to the value of max_clients * 25. max_clients is the estimated number of concurrent users making requests. max_clients is not equivalent to the estimated number of concurrent (or actively logged in) users. max_clients is usually around 10% of the estimated number of currently logged in users. The default value is 128.

Adjust the LPTA token timeout

Sometimes you might see many LPTA token timeout errors in the WAS logs (systemOut.log). These are caused by the LTPA (which provides SSO authentication capabilities) tokens being either expired or corrupted. These errors can be addressed in three different ways:

  1. Force the token to be reestablished
  2. Adjust the LTPA timeout
  3. Do nothing and live with the errors

For more information, see LTPA Token Expired error in WebSphere Logs with Rational Team Concert on the IBM Support website. The reason why you might want to address this issue is that the WebSphere logs can grow quite large as multiple entries are produced every second.

Solution 1: Force token

To eliminate duplicate messages, you can remove the LTPA Tokens by using the following steps:

  • Stop WAS
  • Remove the LTPA key at WAS_HOME/profiles/profileName/config/cells/cellName/nodes/nodeName/ltpa
  • Restart WAS.

Solution 2: Adjust LTPA timeout

Adjust the LPTA timeout by following these steps:

  • Launch WebSphere Admin Console to start the WAS Console.
  • In the WAS Console navigation pane, click Security > Global security.
  • In the Authentication area of the Global security page, click the LTPA link.
  • In the LTPA timeout area of the LTPA page, edit the value for the LTPA timeout from the default of 120 minutes to an arbitrarily large number and click OK.
  • In the Messages area at the top of the Global security page, click the Save link and log out of the WAS Console.

Follow these steps only on the application nodes.

Setting the WAS WebContainer to synchronous mode

Problem (abstract)

The WebContainers use of asynchronous data transfer might use a large number of buffers in native memory to write an application response. This predominately occurs when large application responses are being transferred (for example a PDF, large images, the DMGR updating the nodeagents, etc.) but can also occur with normal size application responses. If the amount of native memory used by this is too large, you can enable synchronous mode, which reduces the amount of memory used to store responses.

Most instances, where it has been necessary to set channelwritetype to synchronous, have involved addressing performance issues related to Rational Team Concert SCM and Build. It is not the case that all Team Concert environments need this setting.

For further information, see the Setting the WAS WebContainer to synchronous mode troubleshooting technote on the IBM Support Portal.

Related topics: General WAS top tuning recommendations

External Links:

Additional contributors: DanToczala, Kevin Arhelger, KevinZemanek

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Deployment.ConfiguringAndTuningWAS moved from Deployment.TuningWAS on 2013-11-30 - 17:09 by StevenBeard -
 
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