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Getting Started with BMC Application Diagnostics

Introduction

 

BMC Application Diagnostics is the next generation application deep dive monitoring solution that helps users to proactively diagnose application transaction issues such as slow and failed transactions. BMC Application Diagnostics combined with BMC End User Experience Management provides an end-to-end application performance management solution that helps diagnose application issues. The solution will trace from a real end-user to the application method.  In this blog, I will how discuss you can you get started with BMC Application Diagnostics.

 

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Understanding Architecture and Components

 

The following figure shows the integrated architecture of BMC’s Application Performance Management (APM) solution.

 

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The following are important components of BMC Application Diagnostics

  • Application Diagnostics Server contains Portal and Server components that can be installed in the same server or in a distributed architecture on multiple machines
  • Application Diagnostics Agents (either Java or .NET) that get installed on your application server. Application Diagnostics supports Java 1.5 or newer and .NET 2.0 or newer applications. The Java agent runs as a part of JVM and the .NET agent runs as a Windows service.
  • Application Performance Console visualizes all application performance management data including Application Diagnostics and End User Experience Management.

 

For details, refer to the BMC Application Diagnostics documentation at http://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/appdiag20/Home

Installation

 

BMC Application Diagnostics Server (Portal/Collector) is supported in windows and Linux 64-bit machines.

Downloading Software

The latest version of BMC Application Diagnostics available is 2.0. You can download this from BMC EPD website.

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Please review the Application Diagnostics documentation for details.  It provides both interactive and silent installation. You can install both BMC Application Diagnostics Portal and Collector in the same machine. Following is a screen shot of the interactive installer.

 

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Note that the installer will automatically install a MySQL database where the monitoring data is stored.

 

Enabling Diagnostics data in APM Console

BMC Application Performance Management console unifies all application monitoring data. If you do not have an APM Console already, perhaps as part of an EUEM installation, then you have to install the APM Console. APM Console is an appliance VM that needs to be deployed in ESX environment.

 

You have to enable the Application Diagnostics plug-in by navigating Application Diagnostics -> System Setting in APM Console and entering the Application Diagnostics Portal configuration as follows:

 

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After you configure the Portal Address, you will see Application Diagnostics data in the APM Console.

Installing and Configuring Agents

 

BMC Application Diagnostics support applications running Java 1.5+ and .NET 2.0+ platforms. The agent binaries can be downloaded from BMC EPD website.

 

The .NET agent runs as a Service in Windows. The Java agents require the –javaagent parameter to be specified in the startup script for the application server. The agent communicates with BMC Application Diagnostics Portal and Collector using http(s) and hence the Portal Server and port needs to be specified.  Following is a screen shot for .NET Agent installer:

 

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The Java agent install is a command line installer as shown below:

 

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As I discussed earlier, you need to modify the startup script to include the agent. Here is an example for Tomcat (catalina.bat).


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After you start the agent it will connect to the Application Diagnostics server. You can verify this by navigating to Application Diagnostics -> Agents screen in APM Console as shown below:

 

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Now you are all set!

Monitoring Your Applications

BMC Application Diagnostics discovers your application servers and business transactions automatically. You can navigate to Business Transactions and start monitoring your business transactions as follows:


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Application Diagnostics captures transaction traces when there is a latency violation or when an error occurs. You can view captured traces by drilling down on a specific transaction as shown below.

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This help you diagnose your application issues.

 

If you are developer or application support personnel then you can further drill down method call as below:

 

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Conclusion

 

Hope this helps you get started with monitoring your application using BMC Application Diagnostics.

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More Stories By Debu Panda

Debu Panda, lead author of the recently published EJB 3 in Action (Manning Publications), is a Product Management Leader at BMC Software. Prior to BMC, he was a senior principal product manager on the Oracle Application Server development team, where he drove development of the Java EE container. He has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry and has published numerous articles on enterprise Java technologies and has presented at many conferences. Debu maintains an active blog on enterprise Java at http://debupanda.blogspot.com.