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Distilling Heap Dumps: a Guide to Using and Extending Memory Analyzer

Andrew Johnson (IBM ), Krum Tsvetkov (SAP AG )

Other / New & Noteworthy · Short
Thursday, 14:30, 25 minutes | Silchersaal


Using Eclipse Memory Analyzer we shall show how to find out what your application was doing when a failure happened, what its data structures looked like, where memory was consumed and who owned it, and why the problem occurred, all based on one heap dump.

We shall also explain how the tool can be enhanced (using its defined API and extension points) for your particular environment to go beyond debugging out of memory errors.

The talk covers

  • How to get a list of memory leak suspects with just a single click
  • How to explore the dump to find the application state and reason for failure
  • How you can write extensions to further simplify this process, for example:
    • to display a useful description next to an Object, similar to what you get from a toString() method
    • to display details about the activity of threads, like the job or the request a worker thread is processing
    • to perform some application specific analysis, such as inspecting the contents of an application cache

Join this session and learn the art of extracting the essential elements out of the multi-million object mixture called heap dump.

Don'tDo try this at home!

Andrew Johnson is a Chartered Engineer and is an Advisory Software Engineer at the IBM Hursley, England. He joined IBM in 1988 after receiving a B.A. in Electronic Engineering from Cambridge University. Since 1996 he has worked on Java virtual machines, just-in-time compilers and tools for diagnosing Java problems. He wrote an adapter for the Eclipse Memory Analyzer Tool to read dumps from IBM VMs, and is now a committer on that project.
Andrew has presented sessions about memory analysis at Eclipse Summit Europe 2008, JavaOne 2009, and TheServerSide Java Symposium - Europe 2009.

Krum Tsvetkov is the project lead of the Memory Analyzer tool (www.eclipse.org/mat) and is working as a senior developer at SAP AG. He has more than ten years of professional experience – both providing technical support to SAP customers and developing tools for problem troubleshooting.
Krum has spoken on the topic of Java memory analysis at two JavaOne conferences, and at different Eclipse events.