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Using JConsole to Monitor Applications

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The Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0 release provides comprehensive monitoring and management support. It not only defines the management interfaces for the Java virtual machine, but also provides out-of-the-box remote monitoring and management on the Java platform and of applications that run on it. In addition, JDK 5.0 includes the Java Monitoring and Management Console (JConsole) tool.

JConsole is a JMX-compliant GUI tool that connects to a running JVM, which started with the management agent. It uses the extensive instrumentation of the Java virtual machine to provide information on performance and resource consumption of applications running on the Java platform using Java Management Extension (JMX) technology.

Jconsole can connect to a running JVM in 3 different ways:
- local
- remote
- advanced

The article describes how JConsole can be used to observe information about an application running on the Java platform. The article first gives an overview of the J2SE 5.0 monitoring and management architecture and how JConsole plugs into the architecture. It then describes how to use JConsole to access several core monitoring and management functionalities provided by the Java platform including:

* Detect low memory - the Memory tab provides information about memory consumption, memory pools,
and garbage collection statistics by accessing the memory system, memory pools, garbage collector MBeans.
* Enable or disable GC and class loading verbose tracing
* Detect deadlocks - the Threads tab provides information about threads running in an application.
* Control the log level of any loggers in an application
* Access OS resources???Sun's platform extension. The JDK 5.0 extends the Operating System MBean to include certain OS resource information such as:
- the process CPU time
- the amount of total and free physical memory
- the amount of committed virtual memory (that is, the amount of virtual memory guaranteed to be available to the running process)
- the amount of total and free swap space
- the number of open file descriptions (UNIX only)
* Manage an application's Managed Beans (MBeans)
I recommend you to read this excellent overview on JConsole features with screenshots and examples here:

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