Tuning Guidelines

Although setting names may differ, these concepts apply to most application servers. To keep things simple, Tomcat is used as the example. For other application servers, consult the provider’s documentation for specific settings.

Here are the tuning topics:

Database Connection Pool

The database connection pool should be roughly 30-40% of the thread pool size. It provides a connection whenever Liferay DXP needs to retrieve data from the database (e.g., user login). If the pool size is too small, requests queue in the server waiting for database connections. If the size is too large, however, idle database connections waste resources. As with thread pools, monitor these settings and adjust them based on your performance tests.

In Tomcat, the connection pools are configured in the Resource elements in $CATALINA_HOME/conf/Catalina/localhost/ROOT.xml. Liferay Engineering tests with this configuration:

<Resource auth="Container"         
    description="Digital Enterprise DB Connection"   
    driverClass="com.mysql.jdbc.Driver"   
    maxPoolSize="75"   
    minPoolSize="10"           
    acquireIncrement="5"   
    name="jdbc/LiferayPool"  
    user="XXXXXX"   
    password="XXXXXXXXX"           
    factory="org.apache.naming.factory.BeanFactory"
    type="com.mchange.v2.c3p0.ComboPooledDataSource"
    jdbcUrl="jdbc:mysql://someServer:3306/liferay_dxp?useUnicode=true&amp;characterEncoding=UTF-8&amp;useFastDateParsing=false"/>

This configuration starts with 10 threads and increments by 5 as needed to a maximum of 75 connections in the pool.

There are a variety of database connection pool providers, including DBCP, C3P0, HikariCP, and Tomcat. You may also configure the Liferay JDBC settings in your portal-ext.properties file.

Deactivating Development Settings in the JSP Engine

Many application servers’ JSP Engines are in development mode by default. Deactivate these settings prior to entering production:

Development mode: This makes the JSP container poll the file system for changes to JSP files. Since you won’t change JSPs on the fly like this in production, turn off this mode.

Mapped File: Generates static content with one print statement versus one statement per line of JSP text.

To disable these in Tomcat, for example, update the $CATALINA_HOME/conf/web.xml file’s JSP servlet configuration to this:

<servlet>   
    <servlet-name>jsp</servlet-name>
    <servlet-class>org.apache.jasper.servlet.JspServlet</servlet-class>   
    <init-param>    
        <param-name>development</param-name>    
        <param-value>false</param-value>   
    </init-param>   
    <init-param>    
        <param-name>mappedFile</param-name>    
        <param-value>false</param-value>   
    </init-param>   
    <load-on-startup>3</load-on-startup> 
</servlet>

Development mode and mapped files are disabled.

Thread Pool

Each request to the application server consumes a worker thread for the duration of the request. When no threads are available to process requests, the request is queued to wait for the next available worker thread. In a finely tuned system, the number of threads in the thread pool are balanced with the total number of concurrent requests. There should not be a significant amount of threads left idle to service requests.

Use an initial thread pool setting of 50 threads and then monitor it within your application server’s monitoring consoles. You may wish to use a higher number (e.g., 250) if your average page times are in the 2-3 second range. Too few threads in the thread pool might queue excessive requests; too many threads can cause excessive context switching.

In Tomcat, the thread pools are configured in the $CATALINA_HOME/conf/server.xml file’s Connector element. The Apache Tomcat documentation provides more details. Liferay Engineering tests with this configuration:

<Connector maxThreads="75" minSpareThreads="50" 
    maxConnections="16384" port="8080"     
    connectionTimeout="600000" redirectPort="8443" 
    URIEncoding="UTF-8"  socketBuffer="-1"     
    maxKeepAliveRequests="-1" address="xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx"/>

Additional tuning parameters around Connectors are available, including the connector types, the connection timeouts, and TCP queue. Consult your application server’s documentation for further details.

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