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Tuning WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM

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Basic Tuning Tips and Techniques

When you install WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM, the VM includes a host of default start-up options that ensure a satisfactory out-of-the-box experience; however, often, these options might not provide your application with the optimal performance you should experience with WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM. Therefore, WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM comes with numerous alternative options and algorithms to suit different applications. This section describes some of these alternative options and some basic tuning techniques you can use at startup. It includes information on the following subjects:

Note: The tuning settings discussed in this section refer to standard and non-standard tuning options which are not thoroughly described in the present context. For more information on these options, refer to Command Line Options by Name


Determine What You Want to Tune For

Before you start WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM, you need to determine these two factors:

Once you've answered these questions, use the information provided below to tune WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM to achieve those goals.


Setting the Heap Size

Generally, you want to set the maximum heap size as high as possible, but not so high that it causes page-faults for the application or for some other application on the same computer. Set it to something less than the amount of memory in the machine. If you have multiple applications running on the computer at the same time the value could be much lower. It is recommend that you set the initial heap size (-Xms) the same size as the maximum heap size.


Tuning for High Responsiveness

If you want the highest responsiveness from your application and guarantee minimal pause times, set the following options at startup:


Tuning for High Performance

If you want the highest possible performance WebLogic JRockit 8.1 JVM can provide, set these tuning options at startup:


Other Tuning Tips

This section describes two other practices you can employ to improve WebLogic JRockit JVM performance.

Analyze Garbage Collection and Pause Times

Analyzing garbage collection and pause times together will give you a good idea of how well your application is performing while running with WebLogic JRockit JVM.

Modify Threading Options when Using a Large Number of Threads

If you are running with more than 100 threads and you want to improve system performance, try the following:


Analyzing and Improving Your Application

This section describes how you can improve application performance by uncovering "hotpaths," or bottlenecks in processing, and either working around those hotpaths or eliminating them completely.

Generally, analyzing and improving your application is a four-step process:

  1. Find the hotpaths
  2. Prioritize them
  3. Fix the most important hotpaths
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until application performance is satisfactory

Step 1: Find the Hotpaths

Finding Hotpaths is a two-step process:

Find the Bottleneck Methods

As their name implies, bottleneck methods are those methods that require excessive time and processing resources to execute. These bottlenecks can greatly affect system performance and need to be identified. To find bottleneck methods, do the following:

Cluster the Bottleneck Methods Together into Hotpaths

To cluster the bottleneck methods together into hotpaths, do the following:

  1. Run your favorite profiler, such as OptimizeIt or JProbe.
  2. Review the call-traces produced by it.
  3. Combine these call-traces with the bottleneck methods discovered in Find the Bottleneck Methods, above. This combination of bottleneck methods and call-traces will identify your hotpaths.

Step2: Prioritize the Hotpaths

To prioritize the hotpaths, do the following:

  1. Sum all of the time spent in each hotpath to compute a total hotpath time.
  2. Remove all individual hotpaths that represent less than a prescribed percentage of the total hotpath time; for example, a good initial percentage might be 5%. This is the hotpath threshold.
  3. Ignore any hotpath that falls below the hotpath threshold. Any hotpath time above the threshold should be optimized.

Step 3: Fix the Hotpath

You need to rely on your own judgement and knowledge of the application to fix hotpaths. Once you've identified and prioritized the hotpaths, look at each one and decide if the code is really needed or if you can make some simple changes, perhaps to the coding or to an algorithm, to avoid it or eliminate it as a hotpath. If you determine that you cannot remove the hotpath, what can you do to make it faster? Rewrite the code so it's more efficient?

Also, are you sure that anything you do will actually improve performance. Any optimization you attempt should at least double performance of the hotpath or your efforts might be wasted. For example, a performance increase of 5% or a hotpath that takes only 5% of the time is only going to improve performance .25%.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-3

Continue repeating the optimization process until you attain the desired system performance.


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