Introducing Splunk for WebSphere Application Server 2.0(beta)

I’m very proud to announce that Splunk for WebSphere Application Servers (WAS) has been significantly enhanced, based on the feedback we’re received from you. As a successor to the 1.0 release, this 2.0 beta release includes enhancements that lets you easily deploy, scale, monitor and manage your Splunk deployment for WAS. While we’ve invested substantially in improvements to deployment and management, the enhancements are not limited to operational tasks – you will find improved reporting and dashboards providing views on some of the key statistics on both the current state  and historical trend, along with improved analytics of your WAS environment.

Getting into the details

In order to successfully deploy Splunk for WAS you will need to install 3 components:

  1. The Splunk App for WAS: The Splunk App installs on your central Splunk instance. It boasts of brand new pre-built reports and dashboard views allowing you to easily get a run-time view of your JVM, Memory, heap size, CPU Usage, connection pools and much more.
  2. The Splunk Forwarder Add-on for WAS:  WebSphere Application Server generates a variety of logs, both in textual format (like the SystemErr.log, ServerException.log…) and non-textual format – like the binary activity log. The add-on will allow you to extract all this information, convert it into textual format and derive context around the data for the WebSphere Application Servers, across your cores.
  3. The Splunk Forwarder Appliance for WAS: The forwarder appliance, outside of collecting configuration information from your deployment servers, remotely collects performance and inventory data of your WAS environment through simple and robust API calls and “forwards” it onto the Splunk indexers.

What does this mean to you?

The core value of Splunk is to get operational intelligence on your applications and infrastructure through event data. Event data not only helps you pinpoint troublesome spots but when combined with an analytic software like Splunk, provides you the ability to take event data to the next level – to gain real-time meaningful information on your application environment easily. That is exactly what this solution targets to accomplish.

We released an app before for WAS, but we quickly found out that scaling to collect data in very large scale WAS environments would require rework of the app – this new version is suited for large scale data collection in complex WAS environments. This version of Splunk for WAS focuses on ensuring that the solution can be deployed at scale, with centralized configuration through the deployment server. Not only does it come with out of the box scripts to help you get started easily, with this solution, we give you a very comprehensive offering that will allow you to consolidate log and performance metrics across your WAS implementation. You gain access to new JVM logs, performance and inventory dashboards providing a real-time snapshot of your WAS environment. There are new dashboard views that also allow you to watch for specific errors and exceptions in your WAS environment. If you want to monitor several PMI metrics such as thread pool usage, number of connections, security configurations, not only can you do so in real-time, but you can also compare it with historical trends and chart them easily with this solution.

Summarizing the key features, this release includes

  • Separate distributable components over your WAS installation and Splunk installation, including a performance data collection VM
  • Optional out of the box installation scripts to get you up and running faster
  • Support for WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment (versions 6.0 and above)
  • Scalable and remote Performance Monitoring Infrastructure (PMI) data collection via the Java Management Extensions interface (JMX)
  • New JVM log, performance and inventory dashboards
  • Splunk for WAS solution administration dashboards

Excited? Want more?

Discover how easy WebSphere monitoring and reporting can be. Download Splunk for WebSphere Application Servers. Give us your feedback and let us know what more we can do to enrich the experience by sending us an email at websphere AT splunk DOT com. If you’d like us to engage with you during the beta, contact us and we would love to assist you.

Priya Balakrishnan

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