We are constantly working on contributing monitoring support for various sources, the latest in that line is support for JVM monitoring using the OpenTelemetry collector. If you are as excited as we are, take a look at the details of this support in OpenTelemetry’s repo.
The best part is that this receiver works with any OpenTelemetry collector: including the OpenTelemetry Collector and observIQ’s distribution of the collector.
In this post, we take you through the steps to set up this receiver with observIQ’s distribution of the OpenTelemetry Collector and send out the metrics to Google Cloud Operations.
Here JVM monitoring is handled using the JMX metrics receiver from OpenTelemetry.
What signals matter?
Performance metrics are the most important to monitor for JVM. Here’s a list of signals to keep track of:
Keeping track of the heap memory gives you a clear picture of how your application is handling scaling up memory when there is a change in the traffic accessing your application. Heap memory holds the application objects. Based on user volumes, the request-related objects in the heap are retained. On completing the request, heap memory is expected to clear these objects. When this does not happen as expected, either due to coding issues or lack of scalability, it needs to be identified and addressed before it leads to the application crashing. Metrics such as jvm.memory.heap.used help keep track of the total heap memory used at any point in time.
Once Heap memory no longer references the serviced request objects, the objects are cleaned out from the heap memory using the Garbage collection process. When garbage collection happens the application does not perform to capacity, leading to retarded responsiveness. Hence it is necessary to keep the garbage collection process shorter and faster for ideal application performance. Metrics such as jvm.gc.collections.count give a value of the total garbage collection count at the set interval.
A very crucial JVM metric is the active thread count. The higher the active thread count, the slower the application’s performance. Holding more threads increases the dependency on application resources such as processor and server utilization. By analyzing the thread count over a period of time, you should be able to set the optimal thread count based on the request traffic at various times. Increasing and decreasing the number of threads allocated based on varying levels of traffic to the application. Metrics such as jvm.memory.pool.init give the thread count at the specified interval.
Configuring the JMX metrics receiver
After the installation, the config file for the collector can be found at:
- C:\Program Files\observIQ OpenTelemetry Collector\config.yaml (Windows)
The first step is building the receiver’s configuration:
- We are using the JMX receiver to gather JVM metrics. The jar_path attribute lets you specify the path to the jar file that facilitates gathering JVM metrics using the JMX receiver. This file path is created automatically when observIQ’s distribution of the OpenTelemetry Collector is installed.
- Set the IP address and port for the system from which the metrics are gathered as the endpoint.
- When we connect to JMX there are different categories of metrics; the JVM metrics are the ones that this configuration intends to scrape. This target_system attribute specifies that.
- Set the time interval for fetching the metrics for the collection_interval attribute. The default value for this parameter is 10s. However, if exporting metrics to Google Cloud operations, this value is set to 60s by default.
- The Properties attribute allows you to set arbitrary attributes. For instance, if you are configuring multiple JMX receivers to collect metrics from many JVM servers, this attribute allows you to set the unique IP addresses for each of those endpoint systems. Please note that this is not the only use of the properties option.
receivers: jmx: jar_path: /opt/opentelemetry-java-contrib-jmx-metrics.jar endpoint: localhost:9000 target_system: jvm collection_interval: 60s properties: # Attribute 'endpoint' will be used for generic_node's node_id field. otel.resource.attributes: endpoint=localhost:9000
The next step is to configure the processors:
- Use the resourcedetection processor to create an identifier value for each JVM instance that the metrics are scraped from.
- Add the batch processor to bundle the metrics from multiple receivers. We highly recommend using this processor in the configuration, especially for the benefit of the logging component of the collector. To learn more about this processor check the documentation.
processors: resourcedetection: detectors: ["system"] system: hostname_sources: ["os"] batch:
The next step is to set up a destination for exporting the metrics as shown below. You can check the configuration for your preferred destination from OpenTelemetry’s documentation here.
exporters: googlecloud: retry_on_failure: enabled: false
Set up the pipeline.
service: pipelines: metrics: receivers: - jmx processors: - resourcedetection - resourceattributetransposer - resource - batch exporters: - googlecloud
Viewing the metrics collected
The JMX metrics gatherer scrapes the following metrics and exports them to the destination, based on the config detailed above.
|jvm.classes.loaded||The number of loaded classes
|jvm.gc.collections.count||The total number of garbage collections that have occurred
|jvm.gc.collections.elapsed||The approximate accumulated collection elapsed time
|jvm.memory.heap.committed||The maximum amount of memory can be used for the heap
|jvm.memory.heap.init||The current heap memory usage
|jvm.memory.heap.max||The number of loaded classes
|jvm.memory.heap.used||The total number of garbage collections that have occurred
|jvm.memory.nonheap.committed||The amount of memory that is guaranteed to be available for the heap
|jvm.memory.nonheap.init||The current non-heap memory usage
|jvm.memory.nonheap.max||The amount of memory that is guaranteed to be available for non-heap purposes
|jvm.memory.nonheap.used||The maximum amount of memory can be used for the memory pool
|jvm.memory.pool.committed||The current memory pool memory usage
|jvm.memory.pool.init||The current number of threads
|jvm.memory.pool.max||The amount of memory that is guaranteed to be available for the heap
|jvm.memory.pool.used||The current non-heap memory usage
observIQ’s distribution is a game-changer for companies looking to implement the OpenTelemetry standards. The single line installer, seamlessly integrated receivers, exporter, and processor pool make working with this collector simple. Follow this space to keep up with all our future posts and simplified configurations for various sources. For questions, requests, and suggestions, reach out to our support team at support@observIQ.com.