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Oracle® Coherence Developer's Guide
Release 3.5

Part Number E14509-01
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18 High Resolution Timesource (Linux)

Linux has several high resolution timesources to choose from, the fastest TSC (Time Stamp Counter) unfortunately is not always reliable. Linux chooses TSC by default, and during boot checks for inconsistencies, if found it switches to a slower safe timesource. The slower time sources can be 10 to 30 times more expensive to query then the TSC timesource, and may have a measurable impact on Coherence performance. Note that Coherence and the underlying JVM are not aware of the timesource which the operating system is using. It is suggested that you check your system logs (/var/log/dmesg) to verify that the following is not present.

kernel: Losing too many ticks!
kernel: TSC cannot be used as a timesource.
kernel: Possible reasons for this are:
kernel:   You're running with Speedstep,
kernel:   You don't have DMA enabled for your hard disk (see hdparm),
kernel:   Incorrect TSC synchronization on an SMP system (see dmesg).
kernel: Falling back to a sane timesource now.

As the log messages suggest, this can be caused by a variable rate CPU (SpeedStep), having DMA disabled, or incorrect TSC synchronization on multi CPU machines. If present it is suggested that you work with your system administrator to identify the cause and allow the TSC timesource to be used.