Java Performance Tuning
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Java load balancing design tips
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Tips covering architectural aspects of a system that help to load balance
the application. Includes tips on clustering.
The following pages have their detailed tips extracted below
The following detailed tips have been extracted from the raw tips page
Balancing Network Load with Priority Queues (Page last updated December 2001, Added 2002-02-22, Author Frank Fabian, Publisher Dr. Dobb's). Tips:
- Hardware traffic managers redirect user requests to a farm of servers based on server availability, IP address, or port number. All traffic is routed to the load balancer, then requests are fanned out to servers based on the balancing algorithm.
- Popular load-balancing algorithms include: server availability (find a server with available processing capability); IP address management (route to the nearest server by IP address); port number (locate different types of servers on different machines, and route by port number); HTTP header checking (route by URI or cookie, etc).
- Sort incoming requests into different priority queues, and service the requests according to the priorities assigned to each queue. [Article gives the example where combining user and automatic requests in one queue can result in a worst case user wait of 3.5 minutes, as opposed to less than 0.1 seconds if priority queues are used].
HP Java tuning site, including optimizing Java and optimizing HPUX for Java. This is the top page, but several useful pages lie off it (tips extracted for inclusion below). Includes a nice "procedure" list for tuning apps, and some useful forms for what you should record while tuning. (Page last updated 2000, Added 2000-10-23, Author ?, Publisher HP). Tips:
- computationally intensive applications should increase the number of CPUs to increase overall system performance and throughput.
J2EE Application server performance (Page last updated April 2001, Added 2001-04-20, Author Misha Davidson, Publisher Java Developers Journal). Tips:
- Use clustering (multiple servers) to increase scalability.
Tuning IBM's WebSphere product. White paper: "Methodology for Production Performance Tuning". Only non-product specific Java tips have been extracted here. (Page last updated September 2000, Added 2001-01-19, Author Gennaro (Jerry) Cuomo, Publisher IBM). Tips:
- A size restricted queue (closed queue) allows system resources to be more tightly managed than an open queue.
- The network provides a front-end queue. A server should be configured to use the network queue as its bottleneck, i.e. only accept a request from the network when there are sufficient resources to process the request. This reduces the load on an app server. However, sufficient requests should be accepted to ensure that the app server is working at maximum capacity, i.e. try not to let a component sit idle while there are still requests that can be accepted even if other components are fully worked.
- Try to balance the workload of the various components.
Overview of common application servers. (Announced at http://www.theserverside.com/home/thread.jsp?thread_id=9581). I've extracted the performance related features (Page last updated October 2001, Added 2001-10-22, Author Pieter Van Gorp, Publisher Van Gorp). Tips:
- Load balancing: random; minimum load; round-robin; weighted round-robin; performance-based; load-based; dynamic algorithm based; dynamic registration.
Design patterns catalog (Page last updated 2001, Added 2002-01-25, Author ?, Publisher Sun). Tips:
- Use the Front Controller pattern to centralize incoming client requests, allowing optimizations to be made in aggregating the resulting view.
Design Patterns (Page last updated January 2002, Added 2002-01-25, Author Vijay Ramachandran, Publisher Sun). Tips:
- Use the Front Controller pattern to channel all client requests through a single decision point, which allows the application to be balanced at runtime.
Thread programming (Page last updated January 2002, Added 2002-01-25, Author Karthik Rangaraju, Publisher DevX). Tips:
- Blocking queues provides a mechanism for reliably distributing requests to multiple server threads.
- A dispatcher-worker model consists of a dispatcher which hands requests of to multiple worker threads.
- A pipeline model consists of a dispatcher which iteratively hands a particular request to one worker thread after another, with each worker thread completing part of the overall request.
Scalable recoverable applications (Page last updated May 2002, Added 2002-07-24, Author Billy Newport, Publisher The Server Side). Tips:
- Split the application into a transactional part and a non-transactional part. The non-transactional part can be replicated.
- Using a single machine limits both reliability and scalability. Scalability is completely dependent on how powerful the single machine can become.
- Multiple front-end machines with http request load balancing is more reliable, but the database machine is still a single point of failure.
- Partitioning the database across multiple machines adds scalability, but must be done with care.
- A load balancing message queue may be needed for a high rate of messages (>500/sec).
- Note that reliable systems should ensure that all duplicated data have no single points of failure in the software or hardware chain behind the data (different controllers, UPSs, etc).
Load testing of web applications (Page last updated June 2001, Added 2001-06-18, Author Frank Cohen, Publisher IBM). Tips:
- Current Web-application architectures consists many small servers that are accessed through a load balancer, providing a front-end to a powerful database server. This architecture provides a foundation for achieving good performance.
EJB performance tips (Page last updated November 2001, Added 2001-12-26, Authors Ravi Kalidindi and Rohini Datla, Publisher PreciseJava). Tips:
- Use clustering for scalability.
High load web servlets (Page last updated July 2002, Added 2002-07-24, Author Pier Fumagalli, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- Hand off requests for static resources directly to the web server by specifying the URL, not by redirecting from the servlet.
- Use separate webservers to deliver static and dynamic content.
- Load balance the Java application using multiple JVMs.
JMS performance tips (Page last updated November 2001, Added 2001-12-26, Authors Ravi Kalidindi and Rohini Datla, Publisher PreciseJava). Tips:
- Use separate transactional sessions and non-transactional sessions for transactional and non-transactional messages.
Clustering with JBoss (Page last updated July 2002, Added 2002-07-24, Authors Bill Burke, Sacha Labourey, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- A hardware- or software-based HTTP load-balancer usually sits in front of the application servers within a cluster. The load balancer can decrypt HTTPS requests and distribute load.
- HTTP session replication is expensive for a J2EE application server. If you can live with forcing a user to log in again after a server failure, then an HTTP load-balancer probably provides all of the fail-over and load-balancing functionality you need.
- Smart proxies can be used to implement load-balancing and fail-over for EJB remote clients. These proxies manage a list of available RMI connections one of which it will use to service an invocation.
Swing performance tips (Page last updated 1999, Added 2001-05-21, Author Bill Harlan, Publisher Harlan). Tips:
- Action listeners are all executed in the one event-dispatching thread. Time-consuming listeners should execute their work in a separate thread and should avoid blocking the event-dispatching thread. (To reenter the event-dispatching thread calling SwingUtilities.invokeLater() or invokeAndWait()).
Web application scalability. (Page last updated June 2000, Added 2001-05-21, Author Billie Shea, Publisher STQE Magazine). Tips:
- Factor in load-balancing software and/or hardware in order to efficiently route requests to the least busy resource.
Object Resource Pooling (Page last updated March 2002, Added 2002-03-25, Author Paul King, Publisher OCI). Tips:
- Load balancing is possible by varying how pooled objects are handed out.
EJBs are wonderful (Page last updated December 2001, Added 2001-12-26, Author Tyler Jewell, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- Configure separate deployments for each entity bean for different usage patterns (e.g. typical 85% read-only, 10% read-write, 5% batch update), and partition the presentation layer to use the appropriate corresponding deployment (e.g. read requests use the read-only deployment).
J2EE Application servers (Page last updated April 2001, Added 2001-04-20, Authors Christopher G. Chelliah and Sudhakar Ramakrishnan, Publisher Java Developers Journal). Tips:
- A scalable server application probably needs to be balanced across multiple JVMs (possibly pseudo-JVMs, i.e. multiple logical JVMs running in the same process).
- Performance of an application server hinges on caching, load balancing, fault tolerance, and clustering.
- Load balancing mechanisms include: round-robin DNS (alternating different IP-addresses assigned to a server name); and re-routing mechanisms to distribute requests across multiple servers. By maintaining multiple re-routing servers and a client connection mechanism that automatically checks for an available re-routing server, fault tolerance is added.
- Using one thread per user can become a bottleneck if there are a large number of concurrent users.
Load Balancing Web Applications (Page last updated September 2001, Added 2001-10-22, Author Vivek Veek, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- DNS round-robin sends each subsequent DNS lookup request to the next entry for that server name. This provides a simple machine-level load-balancing mechanism, but is only appropriate for session independent or shared-session servers.
- DNS round-robin has no server load measuring mechanisms, so requests can still go to overloaded servers, i.e. the load balancing can be very unbalanced.
- Hardware load-balancers solve many of the problems of DNS round-robin, but introduce a single point of failure.
- A web server proxy can also provide load-balancing by redirecting requests to multiple backend webservers.
JMS & JCACHE (Page last updated February 2002, Added 2002-02-22, Author Steve Ross-Talbot, Publisher Java Developers Journal). Tips:
- Asynchronous messaged communications allows subsystems to decouple and work more efficiently in parallel, more closely reflecting actual workflows.
Pseudo Sessions for JSP, Servlets and HTTP (Page last updated March 2001, Added 2001-03-21, Author Budi Kurniawan, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- Use pseudo sessions rather than
HttpSessions to improve web server scalability.
- Pseudo sessions reside on file instead of in memory, thus both decreasing memory and allowing sessions to be distributed across multiple servers.
Clustering for J2EE and Java application servers. Looks at Bluestone Total-e-server, Sybase Enterprise Application Server, SilverStream Application Server, and WebLogic Application Server. (Page last updated February 2001, Added 2001-03-21, Author Abraham Kang, Publisher JavaWorld). Tips:
- A cluster can be implemented using a dispatcher which accepts requests and passes them on to other servers (either by redirecting the client or directly).
- Clustering should allow failover if a machine/process crashes. For stateful sessions, this requires state replication.
J2EE clustering (Page last updated August 2001, Added 2001-08-20, Author Abraham Kang, Publisher JavaWorld). Tips:
- Consider cluster-related and load balancing programming issues from the beginning of the development process.
- Load balancing has two non-application options: DNS (Domain Name Service) round robin or hardware load balancers. [Article discusses the pros and cons].
- To support distributed sessions, make sure: all session referenced objects are serializable; store session state changes in a central repository.
Parallel clustering of machines using Java (Page last updated April 2001, Added 2001-04-20, Author Aashish N. Patil, Publisher IBM). Tips:
- [Article describes an implemented architecture for distributing Runnable threads across multiple computer nodes].
"EJB2 clustering with application servers" (Page last updated December 2000, Added 2001-01-19, Author Tyler Jewell, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- [Article discusses multiple independent ways to load balance EJBs]
Implementing clustering on a J2EE web server (JBoss+Jetty) (Page last updated September 2001, Added 2001-10-22, Author Bill Burke, Publisher OnJava). Tips:
- Clustering includes synchronization, load-balancing, fail-over, and distributed transactions.
- [article discusses implementing clustering in an environment where clustering was not previously present].
Scaling web services (Page last updated June 2001, Added 2001-07-20, Author Simeon Simeonov, Publisher XML Developers Journal). Tips:
- Use more than one server in a cluster that services requests as if it were a single server using: OS-level clustering (OS level built in failover mechanisms); Software load balancing (using a loda-balancing front-end dispatcher); Hardware load balancing (e.g. DNS round-robin to different servers).
- A basic load-balancing scheme is achievable by sending documents with different binding addresses (differnent URL hosts)
Article on high availability architecture. If the system isn't up when you need it, its not performing. (Page last updated November 1998, Added 2000-10-23, Author Sam Wong, Publisher Sun). Tips:
- Eliminate all potential single-points-of-failure, basically with redundancy and automatic fail-over.
- Consider using the redundant components to improve performance, with a component failure causing decreased performance rather system failure.
Last Updated: 2018-02-27
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