Java Virtual Machine specialist Azul Systems has released jHiccup, an open source tool designed to measure the pauses and stalls (or "hiccups") associated with an application's underlying Java runtime platform. The company's new release could be timely; with Christmas and the holiday season just around the corner, many online retail apps will be using server-based Java Runtime Environments — and the retailers operating them will want to avoid any potential hiccups or interruptions in performance.
The new tool captures the aggregate effects of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), operating system, hypervisor (if used), and hardware on application stalls and response time. In practical terms, jHiccup allows developers and performance engineers to create and analyze response time profiles. This in turn will help identify whether causes of application delays reside in the application code or in the underlying runtime platform itself.
Pure as the Christmas snow, jHiccup is "completely transparent" and non-intrusive to the application, has zero performance overhead in operation, and is compatible with all Java applications using any JVM.
"Application performance is only as consistent as the underlying runtime platform," said Gil Tene, CTO at Azul Systems. "Java developers and IT organizations need easy-to-use tools that measure responsiveness at the JVM level and below to properly characterize the inherent runtime platform hiccups and execution stalls. This data is critical to allow developers to focus on the right parts of the runtime stack to improve the performance consistency and reduce the latency of their Java applications."
jHiccup captures, logs, and displays response time fluctuations in the runtime platform via "Hiccup charts." The tool does not measure delays caused by the application's code, but instead captures the stalls caused exclusively by the underlying runtime platform that would be visible to and affect any application thread running at the time of the stall. The data collected by the tool and the associated Hiccup charts allow IT organizations to better isolate application performance, latency, and delay problems, and to quickly resolve them.