Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 Performance Tuning Guide

Server Scaling

This section provides recommendations for optimal performance scaling server for the following server subsystems:


The Application Server automatically takes advantage of multiple CPUs. In general, the effectiveness of multiple CPUs varies with the operating system and the workload, but more processors will generally improve dynamic content performance.

Static content involves mostly input/output (I/O) rather than CPU activity. If the server is tuned properly, increasing primary memory will increase its content caching and thus increase the relative amount of time it spends in I/O versus CPU activity. Studies have shown that doubling the number of CPUs increases servlet performance by 50 to 80 percent.


See the section Hardware and Software Requirements in the Sun Java System Application Server Release Notes for specific memory recommendations for each supported operating system.

Disk Space

It is best to have enough disk space for the OS, document tree, and log files. In most cases 2GB total is sufficient.

Put the OS, swap/paging file, Application Server logs, and document tree each on separate hard drives. This way, if the log files fill up the log drive, the OS does not suffer. Also, its easy to tell if the OS paging file is causing drive activity, for example.

OS vendors generally provide specific recommendations for how much swap or paging space to allocate. Based on Sun testing, Application Server performs best with swap space equal to RAM, plus enough to map the document tree.


To determine the bandwidth the application needs, determine the following values:

Then, the bandwidth required is:

Npeakr / t

For example, to support a peak of 50 users with an average document size of 24 Kbytes, and transferring each document in an average of 5 seconds, requires 240 Kbytes (1920 Kbit/s). So the site needs two T1 lines (each 1544 Kbit/s). This bandwidth also allows some overhead for growth.

The server’s network interface card must support more than the WAN to which it is connected. For example, if you have up to three T1 lines, you can get by with a 10BaseT interface. Up to a T3 line (45 Mbit/s), you can use 100BaseT. But if you have more than 50 Mbit/s of WAN bandwidth, consider configuring multiple 100BaseT interfaces, or look at Gigabit Ethernet technology.