Continuous Monitoring of Software Services : Design and Application of the Kieker Framework

In addition to studying the construction and evolution of software services, the software engineering discipline needs to address the operation of continuously running software services. A requirement for its robust operation are means for effective monitoring of software runtime behavior. In contrast to profiling for construction activities, monitoring of operational services should only impose a small performance overhead. Furthermore, instrumentation should be non-intrusive to the business logic, as far as possible. We present the Kieker framework for monitoring software runtime behavior, e.g., internal performance or (distributed) trace data. The flexible architecture allows to replace or add framework components, including monitoring probes, analysis components, and monitoring record types shared by logging and analysis. As a non-intrusive instrumentation technique, Kieker currently employs, but is not restricted to, aspect-oriented programming. An extensive lab study evaluates and quantifies the low overhead caused by the framework components. Qualitative evaluations provided by industrial case studies demonstrate the practicality of the approach with a telecommunication customer self service and a digital photo submission service. Kieker is available as open-source software, where both the academic and industrial partners contribute to the code. Our experiment data is publicly available, allowing interested researchers to repeat and extend our lab experiments.

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