instana_tomcat Apache Tomcat

Managing and Monitoring Apache Tomcat

Tomcat is an open source Java Servlet Container developed by the Apache Software Foundation and released under the Apache License version 2. It implements several Java Enterprise Edition specifications including:

  • Servlet
  • JSP
  • Web Socket
  • Expression Language

Additionally, it also provides a pure Java implementation of an HTTP web server. For full details see the official website.


Tomcat Dash

The Instana Agent will automatically detect the presence of both Java and Tomcat then install the appropriate sensors without the need to restart the JVM. Additionally, it will install the sensor for the OS and if running inside a container the Docker sensor as well. This level of automation requires a very short time and minimal effort to get running and collecting data it also reduces the effort needed for the operations team to set up and maintain the monitoring. Rapidly start sending metric data with the minimum of work required.

Keep track of Tomcat and JVM resources with built-in dashboards. Typical metrics include:

  • JVM heap and garbage collection
  • Sessions
  • Thread pool usage
  • Connection pool usage
  • Servlet execution
  • Custom JMX metrics
  • Deployed applications (WAR)

For full details of the sensor’s capabilities see the documentation.

Health Management

Instana will track the metrics and health signatures of Apache Tomcat with 1-second granularity and raise an Event within 3 seconds if they go out of bounds. The use of Machine Learning applied to pattern detection together with a curated knowledge base acting on the collected raw metrics, is what makes Instana different to other monitoring solutions.



The application code will be automatically instrumented to enable distributed tracing of transactions across these components, see the list of supported transports. For transports that are not instrumented automatically or to gain additional insights, it is possible to use the Tracing SDK. Every request is traced and recorded, never miss an intermittent problem.

JAVA Trace

Each trace shows the duration of every hop and any error details to aid in the rapid diagnosis of the cause and identification of performance degradation or unexpected errors. Developers can now see how their code runs in production and identify bottlenecks and poorly performing backend calls. Every microservice has the key performance indicators of throughput, latency and error rate tracked against it. From a trace, it is possible to drill down directly to the source code.

Configuration Changes

Instana will detect configuration changes and application deployments, these are tracked and are available on the timeline for correlation. Understand how changes to the environment impact the performance and stability of the application or service. It is of particular importance when using automation solutions such as Kubernetes and Mesos.



Ready to start? Read the installation documentation.