Tools to troubleshoot memory issues

Note

Azure Spring Apps is the new name for the Azure Spring Cloud service. Although the service has a new name, you'll see the old name in some places for a while as we work to update assets such as screenshots, videos, and diagrams.

This article applies to: ✔️ Basic/Standard tier ✔️ Enterprise tier

This article describes various tools that are useful for troubleshooting Java memory issues. You can use these tools in many scenarios not limited to memory issues, but this article focuses only on the topic of memory.

Alerts and diagnostics

The following sections describe resource health alerts and diagnostics available through the Azure portal.

Resource health

You can monitor app lifecycle events and set up alerts with Azure Activity log and Azure Service Health. For more information, see Monitor app lifecycle events using Azure Activity log and Azure Service Health.

Resource health sends alerts about app restart events due to container out-of-memory (OOM) issues. For more information, see App restart issues caused by out-of-memory issues.

The following screenshot shows an app resource health alert indicating an OOM issue.

Screenshot of Azure portal showing Azure Spring Apps Resource Health page with OOM message highlighted.

Diagnose and solve problems

Azure Spring Apps diagnostics is an interactive experience to troubleshoot your app without configuration. For more information, see Self-diagnose and solve problems in Azure Spring Apps.

In the Azure portal, you can find Memory Usage under Diagnose and solve problems, as shown in the following screenshot.

Screenshot of Azure portal showing Azure Spring Apps Diagnose and solve problems page with Memory Usage highlighted in drop-down menu.

Memory Usage provides a simple diagnosis for app memory usage, as shown in the following screenshot.

Screenshot of Azure portal showing Azure Spring Apps Memory Usage page.

Metrics

The following sections describe metrics that cover issues including high memory usage, heap memory that's too large, and abnormal garbage collection abnormal (too frequent or not frequent enough). For more information, see Quickstart: Monitoring Azure Spring Apps apps with logs, metrics, and tracing.

App memory usage

App memory usage is a percentage equal to the app memory used divided by the app memory limit. This value shows the whole app memory.

jvm.memory.used/committed/max

For JVM memory, there are three metrics: jvm.memory.used, jvm.memory.committed, and jvm.memory.max, which are described in the following list.

"JVM memory" isn't a clearly defined concept. Here, jvm.memory is the sum of heap memory and former permGen part of non-heap memory. JVM memory doesn't include direct memory or other memory like the thread stack. These three metrics are gathered by Spring Boot Actuator, and the scope of jvm.memory is also determined by Spring Boot Actuator.

  • jvm.memory.used is the amount of used JVM memory, including used heap memory and used former permGen in non-heap memory.

    jvm.memory.used is a major reflection of the change of heap memory, because the former permGen part is usually stable.

    If you find jvm.memory.used too large, consider setting a smaller maximum heap memory size.

  • jvm.memory.committed is the amount of memory committed for the JVM to use. The size of jvm.memory.committed is basically the limit of usable JVM memory.

  • jvm.memory.max is the maximum amount of JVM memory, not to be confused with the real available amount.

    The value of jvm.memory.max can sometimes be confusing because it can be much higher than the available app memory. To clarify, jvm.memory.max is the sum of all maximum sizes of heap memory and the former permGen part of non-heap memory, regardless of the real available memory. For example, if an app is set with 1 GB memory in the Azure Spring Apps portal, then the default heap memory size will be 0.5 GB. For more information, see the Default maximum heap size section of Java memory management.

    If the default compressed class space size is 1 GB, then the value of jvm.memory.max will be larger than 1.5 GB regardless of whether the app memory size 1 GB. For more information, see Java Platform, Standard Edition HotSpot Virtual Machine Garbage Collection Tuning Guide: Other Considerations in the Oracle documentation.

jvm.gc.memory.allocated/promoted

These two metrics are for observing Java garbage collection (GC). For more information, see the Java garbage collection section of Java memory management. The maximum heap size influences the frequency of minor GC and full GC. The maximum metaspace and maximum direct memory size influence full GC. If you want to adjust the frequency of garbage collection, consider modifying the following maximum memory sizes.

  • jvm.gc.memory.allocated is the amount of increase in the size of the young generation memory pool after one GC and before the next. This value reflects minor GC.

  • jvm.gc.memory.promoted is the amount of increase in the size of the old generation memory pool after GC. This value reflects full GC.

You can find this feature on the Azure portal, as shown in the following screenshot. You can choose specific metrics and add filters for a specific app, deployment, or instance. You can also apply splitting.

Screenshot of Azure portal showing Azure Spring Apps Metrics page.

Further debugging

For further debugging, you can manually capture heap dumps and thread dumps, and use Java Flight Recorder (JFR). For more information, see Capture heap dump and thread dump manually and use Java Flight Recorder in Azure Spring Apps.

Heap dump records the state of the Java heap memory. Thread dump records the stacks of all live threads. These tools are available through the Azure CLI and on the app page of the Azure portal, as shown in the following screenshot.

Screenshot of Azure portal showing app overview page with Troubleshooting button highlighted.

You can also use third party tools like Memory Analyzer to analyze heap dumps.

Modify configurations to fix problems

Some issues you might identify include container OOM, heap memory that's too large, and abnormal garbage collection. If you identify any of these issues, you may need to configure the maximum memory size in the JVM options. For more information, see the Important JVM options section of Java memory management.

This feature is available on Azure CLI and on the Azure portal, as shown in the following screenshot:

Screenshot of Azure portal showing app configuration page with JVM options highlighted.

See also