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GraalVM Enterprise accelerates Java performance on Oracle Cloud Ampere A1

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is the best platform for Java cloud deployments offering highly competitive pricing and no-cost inclusion of GraalVM Enterprise to accelerate Java application performance.  With the launch of OCI’s new Oracle Ampere A1 Compute platform, OCI has the best price-performance Java platform in the cloud with the high performance/low cost Ampere Altra processor and the new Altra-optimized GraalVM Enterprise JDK release.

GraalVM Enterprise—Faster. Smarter. Leaner.

Built on proven Oracle JDK, the GraalVM Enterprise JDK provides an easy way for Java developers to improve their application performance.  GraalVM Enterprise’s advanced optimizing compiler produces faster code, reduces memory requirements, and cuts garbage collection time so that applications run faster and leaner.

The result of a decade of research and development in Oracle Labs, GraalVM Enterprise includes many unique and innovative compiler optimizations that make it possible for applications to run as much as 50% faster.  With GraalVM Enterprise, any application implemented in Java, or in a JVM-language like Scala or Kotlin, should experience a performance boost—without changing a single line of code.

GraalVM Enterprise also includes a unique “Native Image” Ahead-of-Time compiler that generates native executables that start almost instantaneously and have very low memory requirements, making them ideal for microservices and other containerized workloads.  With support from popular frameworks including Spring, Micronaut, Quarkus, and Helidon, GraalVM Native Image is the best solution for cloud native Java applications.

Benchmarking Java on Oracle Ampere A1

To illustrate the performance benefits of GraalVM Enterprise on OCI, we ran the Renaissance JVM benchmark suite on similarly configured Ampere A1 (Altra) Aarch64 and high-performance OCI X9-2 (Intel® Xeon® Gold 6354, “Ice Lake”) x86 instances with both OpenJDK 11 and GraalVM Enterprise and measured the time it took to run the full suite.  The chart below shows the suite execution time geomean results for each configuration (lower is better). 

 As we can see, GraalVM Enterprise is the fastest way to run Java applications on both platforms, making it the best choice for Java deployments on OCI regardless of the processor architecture choice.  On average, GraalVM Enterprise is approximately 1.6x faster on the x86 platform and 1.5x faster on the Ampere A1 than OpenJDK.  What may be surprising is that with GraalVM Enterprise the general-purpose Ampere A1 outperforms the HPC-oriented X9 with OpenJDK!

But this is just raw performance.  Cost is the other factor we need to consider. The Ampere A1 offers extremely competitive pricing and the combination of GraalVM Enterprise and Ampere A1 may be the most cost-effective Java cloud deployment platform available!

Compute Costs

Let’s look at the costs for our test machines.  Our benchmarks were run on X9 and Ampere A1 machines with 8 GB of RAM and 18 and 36 cores, respectively.   The X9’s Xeon processors have two hardware threads while an Ampere Altra processor has one, so we doubled the number of Ampere A1 processors to ensure both machines had the same number of hardware threads available.  Here’s the monthly cost for each configuration:


GraalVM Enterprise on Oracle Ampere A1—faster and cheaper

The monthly cost for our Ampere A1 test machine is around 60% less expensive than our X9! That’s a huge price difference but remember from the first performance chart that our Ampere A1 machine with GraalVM Enterprise also outperformed the X9 with OpenJDK 11.   Let’s consider how the improved performance GraalVM Enterprise provides affects the cost of running a Java workload on OCI.

We’ve seen that GraalVM Enterprise significantly improves Java application throughput and we’ve also seen that the cost of an Ampere A1 machine is a fraction of the cost of a similarly configured X9.  But what does this mean in practice?

Let’s consider a scenario where we have several batch workloads that take a full month to run on our X9 with OpenJDK.  From the table above, we can see that this will cost $732.10 for the X9.  But what will it cost to run these same workloads on our comparable Ampere A1 machine with GraalVM Enterprise?  From our benchmark results, we can see that applications on Ampere A1 with GraalVM Enterprise run applications about 12% faster than on X9 with OpenJDK, which means our 31 days of work could be done in only 27 days.  By running our workloads faster, we further reduce our already low Ampere A1 machine cost to just $243.77.  Running the exact same workload on GraalVM Enterprise and an Ampere A1 machine is a whopping 67% cheaper than OpenJDK on X9!

 As we can see, GraalVM Enterprise is the fastest way to run Java applications on both platforms, making it the best choice for Java deployments on OCI regardless of the processor architecture choice.  On average, GraalVM Enterprise is approximately 1.6x faster on the x86 platform and 1.5x faster on the Ampere A1 than OpenJDK.  What may be surprising is that with GraalVM Enterprise the general-purpose Ampere A1 outperforms the HPC-oriented X9 with OpenJDK!

OCI’s new Ampere A1 Compute platform based on the Ampere Altra processor offers an unparalleled price-performance value proposition.  In combination with GraalVM Enterprise, included at no additional charge, Java applications deployed to Ampere A1 will enjoy the best performance at the lowest price on any cloud platform.

Getting Started

You can get started with GraalVM Enterprise on the Oracle Ampere A1 Compute platform by signing up for a free OCI account

 Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

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