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Java Performance Companion

Java Performance Companion

Charlie Hunt, Monica Beckwith, Poonam Parhar, Bengt Rutisson

May 2016, Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN13: 9780133796827
ISBN10: 0133796825
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Java® Performance Companion shows how to systematically and proactively improve Java performance with today’s advanced multicore hardware and complex operating system environments.

The authors, who are all leading Java performance and Java HotSpot VM experts, help you improve performance by using modern software engineering practices, avoiding common mistakes, and applying tips and tricks gleaned from years of real-world experience.

Picking up where Charlie Hunt and Binu John’s classic Java Performance left off, this book provides unprecedented detail on two powerful Java platform innovations: the Garbage First (G1) garbage collector and the HotSpot VM Serviceability Agent.

Coverage includes

  • Leveraging G1 to overcome limitations in parallel, serial, and CMS garbage collection
  • Understanding each stage of G1 GC collections, both young and old
  • Getting under the hood with G1 and efficiently fine-tuning it for your application
  • Identifying potential optimizations, interpreting experimental results, and taking action
  • Exploring the internals of the HotSpot VM
  • Using HotSpot VM Serviceability Agent to analyze, triage, and resolve diverse HotSpot VM issues
  • Troubleshooting out of memory errors, Java level deadlocks, and HotSpot VM crashes
  • Extending the Serviceability Agent, and using the Plugin for VisualVM
  • Mastering useful HotSpot VM command line options not covered in Java™ Performance

Java® Performance Companion can help you squeeze maximum performance and value from Java with JDK 8 or 9–for any application, in any environment.

Register your product at for convenient access to downloads, updates, and corrections as they become available.

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Authors xv

Chapter 1: Garbage First Overview 1

Terminology 1

Parallel GC 2

Serial GC 4

Concurrent Mark Sweep (CMS) GC 5

Garbage First (G1) GC 8

References 14

Chapter 2: Garbage First Garbage Collector in Depth 15

Background 15

Garbage Collection in G1 16

The Young Generation 17

A Young Collection Pause 18

Object Aging and the Old Generation 19

Humongous Regions 19

A Mixed Collection Pause 22

Collection Sets and Their Importance 24

Remembered Sets and Their Importance 24

Concurrent Marking in G1 GC 30

Stages of Concurrent Marking 34

Evacuation Failures and Full Collection 37

References 38

Chapter 3: Garbage First Garbage Collector Performance Tuning 39

The Stages of a Young Collection 39

Young Generation Tunables 50

Concurrent Marking Phase Tunables 52

A Refresher on the Mixed Garbage Collection Phase 54

The Taming of a Mixed Garbage Collection Phase 56

Avoiding Evacuation Failures 59

Reference Processing 60

References 65

Chapter 4: The Serviceability Agent 67

What Is the Serviceability Agent? 68

Why Do We Need the SA? 68

SA Components 69

SA Binaries in the JDK 69

JDK Versions with Complete SA Binaries 69

How the SA Understands HotSpot VM Data Structures 70

SA Version Matching 71

The Serviceability Agent Debugging Tools 72

Core Dump or Crash Dump Files 108

Debugging Transported Core Files 109

System Properties for the Serviceability Agent 111

Environment Variables for the Serviceability Agent 112

JDI Implementation 113

Extending Serviceability Agent Tools 115

Serviceability Agent Plugin for VisualVM 117

Troubleshooting Problems Using the SA 123

Appendix: Additional HotSpot VM Command-Line Options of Interest 145

Index 155

  • Reliable guidance on modern Java performance monitoring, profiling, HotSpot tuning, and Java EE application performance tuning
  • Presents a well-proven methodology for identifying, isolating, and fixing Java application performance issues on multicore platforms
  • Contains up-to-date guidance on properly utilizing Java language features to maximize performance and scalability on modern platforms
  • Shows how to write effective microbenchmarks and identify potential problems with them

Charlie Hunt, is a JVM Performance Engineer at Oracle where he works on the performance of Java SE, Java EE, Java HotSpot VM, and Java SE class libraries. He presents on Java performance at various events, including JavaOne, QCon, Velocity, and Dreamforce, and he coauthored Java Performance (Addison-Wesley, 2012).

Monica Beckwith is an independent performance consultant optimizing customer applications for server class systems running the Java Virtual Machine. She has worked with Java HotSpot VM optimizing the JIT Compiler, the generated code, the JVM heuristics and garbage collection and collectors. Monica led Oracle’s Garbage First Garbage Collector performance team and was named a JavaOne Rock Star.

Poonam Parhar is a JVM Sustaining Engineer at Oracle, where her primary responsibility is to resolve customer-escalated problems against Oracle JRockit and Java HotSpot VMs. She loves debugging and troubleshooting problems, and is always focused on improving the serviceability and supportability of the JVM.

Bengt Rutisson is a JVM Engineer at Oracle, working in the HotSpot VM team. He has worked on garbage collections in JVMs for the past ten years, first with the Oracle JRockit VM and the last six years with the Java HotSpot VM. Bengt is an active participant in the OpenJDK project, with many contributions of features, stability fixes and performance enhancements.