Thursday May 31, 2012

Dealing with Fine-Grained Cache Entries in Coherence

On occasion we have seen significant memory overhead when using very small cache entries. Consider the case where there is a small key (say a synthetic key stored in a long) and a small value (perhaps a number or short string). With most backing maps, each cache entry will require an instance of Map.Entry, and in the case of a LocalCache backing map (used for expiry and eviction), there is additional metadata stored (such as last access time). Given the size of this data (usually a few dozen bytes) and the granularity of Java memory allocation (often a minimum of 32 bytes per object, depending on the specific JVM implementation), it is easily possible to end up with the case where the cache entry appears to be a couple dozen bytes but ends up occupying several hundred bytes of actual heap, resulting in anywhere from a 5x to 10x increase in stated memory requirements. In most cases, this increase applies to only a few small NamedCaches, and is inconsequential -- but in some cases it might apply to one or more very large NamedCaches, in which case it may dominate memory sizing calculations.

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CPU Usage in Very Large Coherence Clusters

When sizing Coherence installations, one of the complicating factors is that these installations (by their very nature) tend to be application-specific, with some being large, memory-intensive caches, with others acting as I/O-intensive transaction-processing platforms, and still others performing CPU-intensive calculations across the data grid.

But for most reasonably-designed applications, a linear resource model will be reasonably accurate for most levels of scale. However, at extreme scale, sizing becomes a bit more complicated as certain cluster management operations -- while very infrequent -- become increasingly critical.

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About

The primary contributors to this blog are comprised of the Exalogic and Cloud Application Foundation contingent of Oracle's Fusion Middleware Architecture Team, fondly known as the A-Team. As part of the Oracle development organization, The A-Team supports some of Oracle's largest and most strategic customers worldwide. Our mission is to provide deep technical expertise to support various Oracle field organizations and customers deploying Oracle Fusion Middleware related products. And to collect real world feedback to continuously improve the products we support. In this blog, our experts and guest experts will focus on Exalogic, WebLogic, Coherence, Tuxedo/mainframe migration, Enterprise Manager and JDK/JRockIT performance tuning. It is our way to share some of our experiences with Oracle community. We hope our followers took away something of value from our experiences. Thank you for visiting and please come back soon.

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