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Java Performance Checklist

A list of what metrics to keep in mind when assessing performance goals of your Java apps.

· Performance Zone

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Specify the required performance.

  • Ensure performance objectives are clear.
  • Specify target response times for as much of the system as possible.
  • Specify all variations in benchmarks, including expected response ranges (e.g., 80% of responses for X must fall within 3 seconds).
  • Include benchmarks for the full range of scaling expected (e.g., low to high numbers of users, data, files, file sizes, objects, etc.).
  • Specify and use a benchmark suite based on real user behavior. This is particularly important for multi-user benchmarks.
  • Agree on all target times with users, customers, managers, etc., before tuning.

Make your benchmarks long enough: over five seconds is a good target.

  • Use elapsed time (wall-clock time) for the primary time measurements.
  • Ensure the benchmark harness does not interfere with the performance of the application.
  • Run benchmarks before starting tuning, and again after each tuning exercise.
  • Take care that you are not measuring artificial situations, such as full caches containing exactly the data needed for the test.
  • Break down distributed application measurements into components, transfer layers, and network transfer times.

Tune systematically: understand what affects the performance, define targets, tune, monitor, and redefine targets when necessary.

  • Approach tuning scientifically: measure performance; identify bottlenecks; hypothesize on causes; test hypothesis; make changes; measure improved performance.
  • Determine which resources are limiting performance: CPU, memory, or I/O.
  • Accurately identify the causes of the performance problems before trying to tune them.
  • Use the strategy of identifying the main bottlenecks, fixing the easiest, then repeating.
  • Don't tune what does not need tuning. Avoid "fixing" non-bottlenecked parts of the application.
  • Measure that the tuning exercise has improved speed.
  • Target one bottleneck at a time. The application running characteristics can change after each alteration.
  • Improve a CPU limitation with faster code and better algorithms, and fewer short-lived objects.
  • Improve a system-memory limitation by using fewer objects or smaller long-lived objects.
  • Improve I/O limitations by targeted redesigns or speeding up I/O, perhaps by multi-threading the I/O.

Work with user expectations to provide the appearance of better performance

  • Hold back releasing tuning improvements until there is at least a 20% improvement in response times.
  • Avoid giving users a false expectation that a task will be finished sooner than it will.
  • Reduce the variation in response times. Bear in mind that users perceive the mean response time as the actual 90th percentile value of the response times.
  • Keep the user interface responsive at all times.
  • Aim to always give user feedback. The interface should not be dead for more than two seconds when carrying out tasks.
  • Provide the ability to abort or carry on alternative tasks.
  • Provide user-selectable tuning parameters where this makes sense.
  • Use threads to separate out potentially blocking functions.
  • Calculate "look-ahead" possibilities while the user response is awaited.
  • Provide partial data for viewing as soon as possible, without waiting for all requested data to be received.
  • Cache locally items that may be looked at again or recalculated.
  • Quality-test the application after any optimizations have been made.
  • Document optimizations fully in the code. Retain old code in comments.

For other posts please visit my blog : Journey Towards Java

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Published at DZone with permission of Shidram Jyoti. See the original article here.

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