Overview of VMware GemFire Management and Monitoring Tools

VMware GemFire provides a variety of management tools you can use to manage a VMware GemFire cluster.

The VMware GemFire management and monitoring tools allow you to configure all members and processes of a cluster, monitor operations in the system, and start and stop the members. Internally, VMware GemFire uses Java MBeans, specifically MXBeans, to expose management controls and monitoring features. You can monitor and control VMware GemFire by writing Java programs that use these MXBeans, or you can use one of several tools provided with VMware GemFire to monitor and manage your cluster. The primary tool for these tasks is the gfsh command-line tool, as described in this section.

VMware GemFire provides the following tools to manage a VMware GemFire installation:

gfsh Command-line tool

The gfsh command line tool provides a set of commands you use to configure, manage, and monitor a cluster. gfsh is the recommended tool for managing your cluster.

Use gfsh to:

  • Start and stop VMware GemFire processes, such as locators and cache servers
  • Deploy applications
  • Create and destroy regions
  • Execute functions
  • Manage disk stores
  • Import and export data
  • Monitor VMware GemFire processes
  • Launch VMware GemFire monitoring tools
  • Shut down a cluster
  • Script various operations involving VMware GemFire members
  • Save the configuration for all members of a cluster

gfsh runs in its own shell, or you can execute gfsh commands directly from the OS command line. gfsh can interact with remote systems using the http protocol. You can also write scripts that run in a gfsh shell to automate system startup.

You can use gfsh to create shared cluster configurations for your cluster. You can define configurations that apply to the entire cluster, or that apply only to groups of similar members that all share a common configuration. VMware GemFire locators maintain these configurations as a hidden region and distribute the configuration to all locators in the cluster. The locator also persists the shared configurations on disk as cluster.xml and cluster.properties files. You can use those shared cluster configuration files to re-start your system, migrate the system to a new environment, add new members to a cluster, or to restore existing members after a failure.

A basic cluster configuration consists of:

  • cluster.xml file shared by the cluster
  • cluster.properties file shared by the cluster
  • Deployed jar files containing application Java classes.

See Overview of the Cluster Configuration Service and Cluster Configuration Files and Troubleshooting for additional details on gfsh cluster configuration files.

Using the gfsh tool, you can easily migrate a VMware GemFire-based application from a development environment into a testing or production environment.

Executing gfsh commands with the management API

You can also use VMware GemFire’s management APIs to execute gfsh commands in a Java class. See Executing gfsh Commands through the Management API.

Member Configuration Management

When you issue gfsh commands and have the cluster configuration service enabled (on a locator), VMware GemFire saves the configurations created within gfsh by building a cluster.xml and cluster.properties files for the entire cluster, or group of members.

You can also directly create configurations using cache.xml and gemfire.properties files and manage the members individually.

Java Management Extension (JMX) MBeans

VMware GemFire uses a federated Open MBean strategy to manage and monitor all members of the cluster. Your Java classes interact with a single MBeanServer that aggregates MBeans from other local and remote members. Using this strategy gives you a consolidated, single-agent view of the cluster.

VMware GemFire’s implementation of JMX is industry-standard and friendly to generic JMX clients. You can monitor or manage the cluster by using any third-party tool that is compliant with JMX. For example, JConsole.

See VMware GemFire® Management and Monitoring

VMware GemFire Java API

The VMware GemFire API provides a set of Java classes you can use to manage and monitor a cluster. See the org.apache.geode.management package in the javadocs.

VMware GemFire Pulse

VMware GemFire Pulse is a Web Application that provides a graphical dashboard for monitoring vital, real-time health and performance of VMware GemFire clusters, members, and regions.

Use Pulse to examine total memory, CPU, and disk space used by members, uptime statistics, client connections, and critical notifications. Pulse communicates with a VMware GemFire JMX manager to provide a complete view of your VMware GemFire deployment.

See VMware GemFire Pulse.


JConsole is a JMX monitoring utility provided with a Java Development Kit (JDK). You use gfsh to connect to VMware GemFire, and then launch JConsole with a gfsh command. The JConsole application allows you to browse MBeans, attributes, operations, and notifications. See Browsing VMware GemFire MBeans through JConsole.