Note: This blog post is from 2018. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.Many will know that I'm a huge fan of FusionReactor, the monitoring tool (and more) for ColdFusion, Lucee, or any Java server (Tomcat, Jetty, Glassfish, JBoss, Wildfly, WebLogic, etc). And now I want to start a new series of posts on it. For more, read on.
I help people use the tool about every day in my consulting, to solve problems or help assess architectural choices. I've also offered dozens of presentations on it at most CF conferences I've attended over the years (often offering a talk in the sponsor slot for the vendor, Intergral, in addition to whatever CF talk I was also giving at the event).
I've also done over a dozen FusionReactor webinars, for Intergral, as posted on their site, and of course I've been active for over decade on the FusionReactor Google group. So if someone asks how much I love FusionReactor, I can definitely "count the ways"!
Starting a new series of FR blog posts
And yet for all that, one might hardly know of my enthusiasm for the tool if they only followed my blog here, as I've only done several posts on it over the past few years (though nearly 40 total in the past 10+years)! That's clearly not for lack of enthusiasm and appreciation for the tool. (And I can't say enough good things about the team behind the product, having visited their offices in Germany several times over the years.)
I guess it's just been that I figured with all my other resources and contributions, I was getting lots of content "out there", but I want to rectify that here, with what I plan will become a series of many blog posts on using FR.
I plan to create content from all the above: my daily work with it, the presentations and webinars I've done, and the discussion list topics I've contributed to. I realize that some readers here may not necessarily come across those above. There's also no denying that search results tend to focus more on blog content than presentation PDFs, webinar page introductions, and even discussion list content. I'd love to help folks find more on FR, and help the FR folks find more customers.
So strap in and hold on. If you're already an FR user, I hope to show you things about it that you may easily miss. And if you're new to it, I hope to show you why I think EVERY shop using CF, Lucee, or any Java server should run FusionReactor. There's a free 14-day trial, so if anywhere along the way I say something that seems compelling, you can easily try things out against your own server.
Laying some groundwork
Here at the outset, let me make a couple of fundamental points (which I will reiterate at times): FusionReactor is meant to be used in production (or can be used in development). It should never add noticeable overhead: on the contrary, it should help you find and REMOVE whatever else may be causing performance problems.
And before you think "we're covered for a Java APM" or by another CF server monitor, just know that it's much more to FusionReactor than being "just a monitor", and it can do things that other monitor and APM tools can't or don't (or maybe don't do as elegantly).
I will elaborate over time: it can indeed monitor such traditional things as memory, cpu, and JVM threads. It can also do thread and CPU profiling, heap analysis, view JMX metrics and more like other JVM tools (though done all within a web UI). It also lets you observe requests (which few JVM tools do) as well as any JDBC activity, both of which may be far more effective at helping solve web app server problems than traditional java tools!
But it also adds very useful alerting (to tell you when a problem is happening BEFORE your users do), and it has powerful logging to let you see what was happening BEFORE a crash (for up to 30 days by default)--and a new feature coming in FR 7.2.0 will THRILL those who have leveraged those logs.
There's also a powerful Cloud implementation, where FR metrics are available off-premise with still more powerful analysis and alerting. FR even offers interactive step debugging--again, yes meant to use in production! (I know some readers will think that just a ludicrous idea, but wait until you hear more about it.)
Finding more on your own
As I get started, you can of course look into any of the above (and still more) at the FusionReactor web site.
A great place to start is the interactive Feature Overview, with links to learn more about each major feature, or the more available Feature Panel with screenshots of (and links to) still more features.
Again, I will elaborate more on the many, many features of this great tool, as well as share tips, tricks, traps, and more, in coming posts in this series.
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