Java Performance Troubleshooting

hey i’m cameron mckenzie @cameronmcnz on twitter and i wanted to talk to you about java auto boxing and the performance implications that boxing and unboxing your java primitive types can have on your jvm to demonstrate the performance implications of boxing and unboxing java primitive types i’ve got this example which is based loosely on one of the examples in marcus hertz jmc tutorial i highly recommend it what i’ve got is i’ve got a class here called snoop int which is really just a wrapper class for an int field it’s got one int and a getter for it named it after snoop dogg because he’s a rapper as well and then i’ve got this other class that does some java primitive type auto boxing and i’ve named it after a great boxer mike tyson and as you can see here we declare a map a collection class and we put 700 000 elements in it we’re testing performance for sure and each of these elements is just one of those snoop objects the number from 0 to 700 000 goes in as the id and then we use the same field as the key for the java map okay so we end up getting a java map with 700 000 elements in it and then we do this very contrived example where we take a copy of all the values and with the copy of all the values we then check to see if each individual copy can is has its corresponding id in the original map so i mean we’re basically unit testing that um the map.values method works but it causes a bunch of objects to be created and comparisons to happen

Java Performance Problem Example

it’s a good little test just to see how boxing impacts performance so i’m going to run this application so here’s my mike tyson class i’ll say run as a java application i’m going to use my auto record java flight recorder launcher i can show you that in just a moment if i come over well i guess i can’t show you that because um this is gonna keep running so much there it is i’ll open up this launcher and i’ve got an auto launch here which says hey when this particular application runs kick off java flight recorder delay a few seconds as you start and record for 120 seconds now i think i’ve probably got enough recording right here so i’m going to click enter that’s going to cause a new file to be created that’s my java flight recorder file and i’m going to open up that java flight recorder recording with the java mission control eclipse plugin it’s going to think about that file for just a second and when it comes up you’ll see it’s flagging allocated classes if i ran this a little bit longer this would have come up red right now it’s just a yellow warning but it’s saying hey you’ve got a problem the most allocated type is integer here we’ve got it using value of it’s in this run class of mike tyson and this is a pretty good place to start identifying your performance problems

JMC JMX Mbeans management console

Troubleshooting with Java Mission Control

if i go over to jvm internals and look at garbage collection this is where you really start to see some of the issues so i think i might get rid of the heap post gc there and get rid of the metaspace used and you can see this garbage collection is going up and down like crazy here and you can see that there’s pretty long pauses so i’ve got a pause here of 889 microseconds i get a pause here of 700. so i mean these are significant pauses they’ve got 1.316 so as the program runs the garbage collection takes longer and longer to do and this will really start to consume large amounts of memory as well and if i actually take a look at some of the memory over here looks like whoa java.lang integer six point no wonder i was getting out of memory exceptions the last time i tried to run this with eight threads yeah that’s a huge amount of memory that’s getting consumed here okay so here’s the fix i’m gonna go into my code hey marcus i’m gonna go into my code i’m gonna go into this snoop in class and where it’s just int i’m gonna just replace it with integer okay quick change three changes there and now i have to actually make this change over here so instead of i it’s integer dot value of i and do the same thing over here so that now when i’m putting the objects into the collection class i’m not doing java primitive type auto boxing i’m doing that boxing myself now but now i’ve got reference types in the map the object is a reference type i don’t need to do any java primitive type boxing or unboxing all of the the actions are done with me i use the wrapper class in every instance i’m going to go over to my launcher just take a quick look at that launcher there that’s not the launcher that’s the flight recording here’s the launcher i was going to rename change the name of the file that i create so i’m going to call that allocation 2 click save and i’ll run this again and hopefully i won’t get any out of memory errors in fact i think this will run much more efficiently.

Java Flight Recorder and Performance Profiling

so i’ll click run as java application say hey do that java flight recorder recording so i can look at the results of the profiling in java mission control it’s going to run for a few seconds here i’m going to go over to package explorer i got that console issue again there we go put the console over there i’m gonna do a little refresh here on recordings and i should see a new file created okay now we’re still writing to that file i think i’ll come down here and terminate this application and now open up the second allocation file the second running of the jvm flight recorder and you can see here the warnings about the garbage collection and the auto boxing of java primitive types the performance problems that were indicated earlier are gone and if i come over here to garbage collection you can actually see i don’t even have any metrics on garbage collection like i don’t think garbage collection even happened that whole time and if i look at memory.

JMC JMX Mbeans management console

i had gigs before and now i mean i like it that’s like the size of uh smaller than a youtube video size of a big graphic on a website um and all of that was achieved simply by avoiding the use of the autoboxing of primitive types in the application i just use the integer class in each instance we don’t have to switch from primitive type to wrapper class wrapper class to primitive type we just use the reference type everywhere and the auto boxing of java primitive type performance problem goes away now i have to say this really surprised me and i should probably say thanks for marcus for pointing this out to me but i thought that when they introduced auto boxing in jdk 1.5 that part of that was performance improvements to make sure that the auto boxing process didn’t have serious performance implications like causing seven gigs of memory to be allocated as you go through a map i was clearly wrong and you know it’s one thing to have an assumption but if you do have an assumption make sure there’s some way to validate that assumption otherwise you can find yourself in serious performance problems now that’s one of the great things about java flight recorder and the java mission control you can go in here do recordings and validate those assumptions and avoid introducing serious performance problems in your applications and there you go there’s some interesting insights from java mission control and java flight recorder on java auto boxing of primitive types now if you enjoyed that tutorial head over to i’m the editor chief over there we’ve got lots of great tutorials on java jakarta ee devops enterprise software you name it if you’re interested in my personal antics you can always follow me on twitter