Java Management Extension (JMX) FAQ

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

javamanagementextensionJava Management Extensions (JMX) is Sun Microsystem’s new Java-based tool for managing enterprise applications. JMX is a Java framework designed to manage enterprise applications in a distributed environment. The JMX technology equips the developers with the ability to add monitoring and management to their Java applications. These APIs can manage anything Java enabled- web servers to network devices to web phones - locally or remotely. JMX technology is defined by two closely related specifications developed through Java Community Process (JCP). To have a better understanding of Java Management Extension technology we decided to provide you an extensive FAQ of the technology.

What is Java Management Extension (JMX)?

JMX is essentially a Java technology that offers tools for managing and monitoring applications, systems, objects, devices and service oriented networks. The resources in JMX are represented by objects called MBeans for Managed Beans. Classes in the API  can be dynamically loaded and instantiated. It adjoins a Java Dynamic Management Kit for managing and monitoring applications.

Which vendors support JMX?

JMX is supported by several Java application server such as, JBoss, JOnAS, WebSphere Application Server, WebLogic, SAP Netweaver Application Server, Oracle Application Server 10g, Sun Java System Application Server and OpenCloud Rhino Application Server

What are the system management tools supporting JMX?

JMX is supported by a number of Systems management tools that include HP OpenView, IBM Director, Empirix OneSight, Zyrion, Zenoss, Hyperic and GroundWork Monitor.

Is JMX an intricate technology and difficult to use?

As far as you are using JMX technology to instrument the applications or devices for manageability, you might face no hassles. It is a simple handle. JMX technology is a Java platform extension that shares Java technology`s object model, component model, and several other aspects of standard Java technology. So if you are acquainted with Java programming language and own a concept of JavaBeans component architecture model, you are well equipped to handle almost every feature.

How competent is JMX technology with frameworks for building agents as compared to other products?

JMX technology applies to Java technology-based managed resources. JMX technology has been designed to instrument any function that has been using Java technology. This is a significant benefit for to all users of the Java platform for developing embedded, commercial or enterprise software. JMX platform provides excellent facilities for developing creation as well as a single coherent framework for management.

Take for instance, router manufacturers can create embedded Java technology functionality that naturally and efficiently implements JMX specification compliant manageability. This manageability is compatible with any JMX specification compliant management platform.

Can JMX manage the applications that consist of different Java technology-based components like JavaBeans, servlets, and Enterprise JavaBeans architecture components?

JMX technology APIs  can be invoked with any Java Virtual Machine and any Java technology-based program.

What’s the cost for implementing JMX specification as the standard for instrumenting Java technology-based functions?

JMX specifications are developed with respect to Java Community Process. There is a separate package for each tier of management architecture.

The instrument tier is a free package. For building other tiers developers can the public specifications or from reference implementations available under Sun Community Source License.

As an alternative, companies can purchase commercially supported products - tools for developing and deploying management solutions like Sun`s Java Dynamic Management Kit (Java DMK).

What are the architecture level in JMX?

The three level architecture in JMX are

Instrumentation level or Probe level: It contains the probes called MBeans instrumenting the resources
Agent level or MBeanServer: This is the core of JMX. It is an intermediary between MBean and the applications
Remote Management level: It allows the remote applications to access the MBeanServer through Connectors and Adaptors. The connector offers full remote access to the MBeanServer API using various communication framework.

What is the cost for maintenance of management solutions based on JMX technology?

Overtly, JMX technology is extension of standard Java technology. All the overheads from training new staff to maintaining a JMX technology based solution is minimal. Since it’s a distributed technology the cost of development and maintenance is distributed across the stakeholders of the distributed system.

Does JMX technology support both stand alone applications manager as well as applications manageable by managers?

JMX technology allows the users to instrument manageability in applications. The application managers can use JMX technology adapter to manage the applications in the same way as the managers do. Alternatively, your application manager can expose the managed resources and management interface to JMX on behalf of your entire application. JMX technology offers both stand alone and

Does JMX technology runs on large Java virtual machines for the Enterprise?

JMX technology can be easily used in any implementation of Sun’s Java Virtual Machine specification as it supports the Java SE platform. This implies that its manageability is portable across platforms with the Java programming language. For more it is also  portable across Java technology-based environments with JMX technology.

Is JMX technology the future of distributed computing?

JMX technology has a significant impact on distributed computing. Moreover, Java technology has helped to proliferate distributed computing. However, distributed technology involves intricacies that makes it unpopular. This issue is directly addressed by JMX technology. As JMX is an extension of the Java platform the tools needed to address these problems are readily available to developers in this field.

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