Enable JMX Monitoring in Payara Server

After downloading the latest version of Payara Server and starting it up, there will be JMX data available immediately, but this is data will only include generic statistics from the JVM itself and will not include any metrics from Payara Server. To view Payara Server metrics, there are a few extra steps to complete first.

Since we need to show the MBeans available, we will use VisualVM for this guide. This is available in the Oracle JDK as jvisualvm, or as a separate download from visualvm.github.io. To view MBeans, the MBeans Browser plugin will need to be installed.

With Payara Server started, VisualVM will detect the running Payara Server as an instance of GlassFish (provided both Payara Server and VisualVM are started as the same user):

Payara Server in VisualVM

This automatic detection of Payara Server uses jstatd to connect to the target JVM. MBeans are still accessible here, but this is not using JMX. A later guide will cover the details of connecting via a JMX port.

Boot AMX

JMX MBeans in Payara Server are exposed under amx to differentiate them from other JVM MBeans, such as those under java.lang which expose things like garbage collection information.

To view the MBeans from Payara Server as well as the JVM, we must execute a JMX operation to start the AMX subsystem.

Booting AMX

As shown in the image below, expand the amx-support folder and select the boot-amx MBean. The default selected tab will be Attributes, so select the Operations tab and click the bootAMX button.

After the operation returns, VisualVM will display an alert box (click OK to dismiss). You will also notice a new directory next to amx-support, simply titled amx.

Expanding this directory will show a very large list of subfolders with useful-looking names. A closer look at these will show that the information in each of the MBeans is only configuration information, not metrics. This is because we haven’t enabled Payara Server’s monitoring system, so no metrics are being gathered. This is our next step.

Enable Monitoring in Payara Server

To make sure that we get all the monitoring data that Payara Server provides, we will turn each module’s monitoring level to HIGH, giving us the highest possible amount of data.

Via the Admin Console

Open the Admin Console and select "Monitoring Data" in the left-hand "Tree" pane. This is where monitoring data can be viewed in the admin console, though this will be raw data. Since we have not yet enabled monitoring, click the "Configure Monitoring" link for the relevant server instance. In the image below we only have the DAS (“server”) to choose:

Click the link for the relevant instance

That link will take you directly to the correct page for the server-config - the place where we enable monitoring for the DAS as shown:

Enable HIGH levels of monitoring

Use the icon to select all available modules, change the value for the "Level" dropdown to HIGH and click "Change Level". This has not yet saved the changes, so we must make sure to click the "Save" button in the top left corner to make sure that the change is applied.

Via the Asadmin Set Command

To achieve the same goal using the asadmin tool, we must use the set command and the appropriate dotted name for each of the modules. Below is a list of all the commands needed to set every module shown above to HIGH individually.

set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.jvm=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.connector-service=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.connector-connection-pool=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.jdbc-connection-pool=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.web-services-container=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.ejb-container=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.thread-pool=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.http-service=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.security=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.jms-service=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.jersey=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.transaction-service=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.jpa=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.web-container=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.orb=HIGH
set configs.config.server-config.monitoring-service.module-monitoring-levels.deployment=HIGH

Viewing JMX Monitoring Data with VisualVM

No further action needs to be taken to get the data from Payara Server into VisualVM. If the MBeans Browser was already open before enabling monitoring, the new MBeans will have appeared already. They may be hard to spot, but they are easy to identify; all MBeans which show monitoring data are suffixed with "-mon". A good example is web-request-mon, which will show metrics on requests for each module in the available Virtual Servers:

Web request metrics in VisualVM

In the screenshot, the Admin Console module is selected and the requestcount attribute is selected. Each attribute in bold is a composite attribute, meaning that it is an attribute which has several properties. Double-clicking the bold text in VisualVM will expand the attribute to show the available data as seen above. Visiting a page in the admin console will increment the count value in the requestcount attribute, though the Refresh button will need to be clicked to update the value.

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