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InfoQ Homepage News jClarity Offers new Tools that Simplify Java Performance Tuning

jClarity Offers new Tools that Simplify Java Performance Tuning

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In a world crowded with in-process and distributed Java profilers, jClarity is a new company with a niche in enterprise and the cloud, offering several tools designed with the goal of simplicity.

Recently founded by well known performance tuning guru Kirk Pepperdine, with London java Community co-leads Ben Evans as CEO, and Martijn Verburg as CTO, the company has three products in the works:

  • jPDM, a Java performance diagnostic tool that generates specific machine-generated performance tuning advice (such as which JVM switches to configure to eliminate detected performance hotspots),
  • Censum, a garbage collection analyzer, and
  • jMSR, a specialist tool that provides cpu-level performance metrics.

Censum is scheduled to launch today (Dec 11, 2012) and jPDM around Q1 2013. jMSR release date has not been scheduled yet.

The company also provides support and training.

InfoQ has interviewed jClarity technologist and CEO Ben Evans.

Can you tell us about your concept?

Yes, it's "Java performance tooling for the enterprise and beyond" - our initial focus is lightweight analytics for Java/JVM based applications, running either on-premises or in the cloud.

We're taking Java performance tuning from the realm of experts and gurus into a realm of empirical science, simple answers and easy-to-use tools.

Our products enable a busy Java developer or operations person to very quickly identify where a performance problem is, and what steps to take to resolve it.

There are already quite a number of Java profiling tools out there. How is this different from existing distributed profilers?

Performance analysis isn't the same thing as profiling. If your problem is code, then an execution profiler can be a very useful tool. However, if the problem isn't the code, but something else in the system, then the profiler will give you irrelevant answers.

Our tooling is designed to analyze the system as a whole, with the principle of minimal impact on the running system - we’re very strict about requiring an incredibly low overhead.

So our tooling has less impact on your running systems, throws next to no data around your network, has a simple UI and most importantly, gives plain English answers to your performance problems.

Two of our most important use cases are high-performance financial systems & consumer-grade cloud apps. These require tools which are very light touch and give plain English answers - but for very different reasons. It was by realizing that there were deep connections between seemingly different cases that we came to our vision for performance.


Who is your target customer?

We're firmly aiming at busy day to day Java developers and operations folks, including people who may have come to Java/JVM from other technology communities.

We are aiming at the cloud market (however, enterprise is not forgotten!) and are partnering with PAAS and IAAS providers to give end users the ability to monitor their Java/JVM based applications for performance problems and help them fix any issues they're experiencing.

Ultimately, we want our tooling in the hands of every Java developer with an app in the cloud or the enterprise.

What's your pricing model?

Our first product, Censum, is a GC log analytics tool, which is a desktop app priced on a per-seat basis.

Our forthcoming flagship product (jPDM) is priced similarly to other high quality add-ons in the PAAS space. So you pay for what you need, and no more.

This flexibility means that our customers range from individual developers & consultants all the way through to major enterprises.

We support Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) and have a number of open sourced utilities that we share with the community, and sponsor free-as-in-beer licenses for our tools for non-profit & F/OSS projects.

It sounds like jClarity can make life simpler for a lot of development and operations teams. Do you have any parting comments?

Our tooling is easy to use by design, you don’t need a PhD in Computer Science to understand its results and recommendations.

It's like the difference between building a BMW and a Formula One car: the Formula One has incredible technology, but you also need a Formula One-trained driver to use it. Real developers need solid engineering than they can actually use effectively.

To find out more about the company, and take the products for a spin, join the Friends of jClarity program.


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