Sun GlassFish Message Queue 4.4 Administration Guide

Tuning Transport Protocols

Once a protocol that meets application needs has been chosen, additional tuning (based on the selected protocol) might improve performance.

A protocol’s performance can be modified using the following three broker properties:

For TCP and SSL protocols, these properties affect the speed of message delivery between client and broker. For HTTP and HTTPS protocols, these properties affect the speed of message delivery between the Message Queue tunnel servlet (running on a Web server) and the broker. For HTTP/HTTPS protocols there are additional properties that can affect performance (see HTTP/HTTPS Tuning).

The protocol tuning properties are described in the following sections.


The nodelay property affects Nagle’s algorithm (the value of the TCP_NODELAY socket-level option on TCP/IP) for the given protocol. Nagle’s algorithm is used to improve TCP performance on systems using slow connections such as wide-area networks (WANs).

When the algorithm is used, TCP tries to prevent several small chunks of data from being sent to the remote system (by bundling the data in larger packets). If the data written to the socket does not fill the required buffer size, the protocol delays sending the packet until either the buffer is filled or a specific delay time has elapsed. Once the buffer is full or the timeout has occurred, the packet is sent.

For most messaging applications, performance is best if there is no delay in the sending of packets (Nagle’s algorithm is not enabled). This is because most interactions between client and broker are request/response interactions: the client sends a packet of data to the broker and waits for a response. For example, typical interactions include:

For these interactions, most packets are smaller than the buffer size. This means that if Nagle’s algorithm is used, the broker delays several milliseconds before sending a response to the consumer.

However, Nagle’s algorithm may improve performance in situations where connections are slow and broker responses are not required. This would be the case where a client sends a nonpersistent message or where a client acknowledgment is not confirmed by the broker (DUPS_OK_ACKNOWLEDGE session).


The inbufsz property sets the size of the buffer on the input stream reading data coming in from a socket. Similarly, outbufsz sets the buffer size of the output stream used by the broker to write data to the socket.

In general, both parameters should be set to values that are slightly larger than the average packet being received or sent. A good rule of thumb is to set these property values to the size of the average packet plus 1 kilobyte (rounded to the nearest kilobyte). For example, if the broker is receiving packets with a body size of 1 kilobyte, the overall size of the packet (message body plus header plus properties) is about 1200 bytes; an inbufsz of 2 kilobytes (2048 bytes) gives reasonable performance. Increasing inbufsz or outbufsz greater than that size may improve performance slightly, but increases the memory needed for each connection.


In addition to the general properties discussed in the previous two sections, HTTP/HTTPS performance is limited by how fast a client can make HTTP requests to the Web server hosting the Message Queue tunnel servlet.

A Web server might need to be optimized to handle multiple requests on a single socket. With JDK version 1.4 and later, HTTP connections to a Web server are kept alive (the socket to the Web server remains open) to minimize resources used by the Web server when it processes multiple HTTP requests. If the performance of a client application using JDK version 1.4 is slower than the same application running with an earlier JDK release, you might need to tune the Web server keep-alive configuration parameters to improve performance.

In addition to such Web server tuning, you can also adjust how often a client polls the Web server. HTTP is a request-based protocol. This means that clients using an HTTP-based protocol periodically need to check the Web server to see if messages are waiting. The imq.httpjms.http.pullPeriod broker property (and the corresponding imq.httpsjms.https.pullPeriod property) specifies how often the Message Queue client runtime polls the Web server.

If the pullPeriod value is -1 (the default value), the client runtime polls the server as soon as the previous request returns, maximizing the performance of the individual client. As a result, each client connection monopolizes a request thread in the Web server, possibly straining Web server resources.

If the pullPeriod value is a positive number, the client runtime periodically sends requests to the Web server to see if there is pending data. In this case, the client does not monopolize a request thread in the Web server. Hence, if large numbers of clients are using the Web server, you might conserve Web server resources by setting the pullPeriod to a positive value.