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Simplifying heap dump analysis

How is HeapHero different?

Ram Lakshmanan
heap dump
© Shutterstock / NagyDodo

Ram Lakshmanan explains how HeapHero differs from other heap dump analysis tools and how your entire organization can easily utilize its features. HeapDump helps analyze large size heap dumps, can be run on the cloud, offers sharing features for team collaboration, and has several more unique capabilities not found in other tools.

There are excellent heap dump analysis tools like Eclipse MAT and Jprofiler. These tools are handy when you want to debug/troubleshoot OutOfMemoryError. However, HeapHero has the following unique capabilities which aren’t available in those tools:

How much memory is wasted?

heap dump

HeapHero tells you how much memory your application is wasting because of inefficient programming practices by the developers. Today memory is wasted because of reasons like:

a. Duplication of strings
b. Overallocation, and underutilization of data structures
c. Boxed numbers
d. Several more reasons

You can see HeapHereo reporting how much memory is wasted even in a vanilla pet clinic Spring Boot application. Other tools don’t provide this vital metric.

SEE ALSO: OutOfMemoryError related JVM arguments

First cloud application for heat dump analysis

Today’s memory profiling tools need to be installed on your desktop/laptops. They can’t run on the cloud. HeapHero can run on:

a. Public cloud (AWS, Azure,..)
b. Your private data center
c. Local machine

Your entire organization can install one instance of HeapHero in a central server, and everyone in the organization can upload and analyze the heap dump from this one server.

CI/CD pipeline integration

As part of a CI/CD pipeline, several organizations do static code analysis using tools like coverity and vera code. Using HeapHero, you can do runtime code analysis. HeapHero provides a REST API. This API returns a JSON response, which contains key metrics related to your application’s memory utilization. You can invoke this API from CI/CD pipeline and see whether your code quality is improving or regressing between each code commit.

Instant RCA in production

Debugging OutOfMemoryError in production is a tedious and challenging exercise. You can automate the end-end analysis of OutOfMemoryError using HeapHero.

Say, if your application’s memory consumption goes beyond certain limits or experiences OutOfMemoryError, you can capture heap dumps and do heap dump analysis instantly using our REST API, generating an instant root cause analysis report. Production troubleshooting tools like ycrash leverages HeapHero REST API to do this analysis for you.

SEE ALSO: Overview of ycrash – finding the source of your problem

Analyzing heap dumps from a remote location

Heap dump files are large in size (several GB). To troubleshoot the heap dump, you have to transmit the heap dump file from your production server to your local machine. From your local machine, you have to upload the heap dump file to your tool. Sometimes a heap dump might be stored/archived in the remote server, or AWS S3 storage. In those circumstances, you will have to download the heap dump from that remote location and then once again upload it to the tool.

HeapHero simplifies this process for you. You can pass the heap dump’s remote location URL as input to the HeapHero API or to web interface directly. HeapHero will download the heap dump from this remote location to analyze for you.

Report sharing & team collaboration

Sharing heap dumps amongst a team is a cumbersome process. Finding a proper location to store the heap dump file is the first challenge. The team member with whom you are sharing this report should have the heap dump analysis tool installed on their local machine so that they can open the heap dump file with the tool you are sharing and see the analysis report. HeapHero simplifies this process. HeapHero gives you a hyperlink like this. This hyperlink can be embedded in your emails, JIRA, and circulated amongst your team. When your team member clicks on this hyperlink, they can see the entire heap dump analysis report on his browser.

HeapHero also lets you export your heap dump as a PDF file. This PDF file can also be circulated amongst your team members.

Analyze large size heap dumps

Several memory profilers are good at analyzing heap dumps of smaller size. But they struggle to analyze large size heap dumps. HeapHero is geared to analyze heap dumps easily.

Author
Ram Lakshmanan
Every single day, millions & millions of people in North America—bank, travel, and commerce—use the applications that Ram Lakshmanan has architected. Ram is an acclaimed speaker in major conferences on scalability, availability, and performance topics. Recently, he has founded a startup, which specializes in troubleshooting performance problems.

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