/ September 2015 ~ Java EE Support Patterns


Java 8 - CPU Flame Graph

Brendan Gregg and Martin Spier from Netflix recently shared a very interesting article titled Java in Flames, describing their latest experimentation with a new JDK option (-XX:+PreserveFramePointer ) that allowed them to create a full CPU consumers view as a "flame" graph. This article is an advanced read but extremely interesting for Java Performance enthusiasts.

This option is now included in the recently released JDK 8u60.

We will create our own experiment shortly and post a video exploring this CPU profiling capability real-time vs. existing CPU profiling tools & techniques. As mentioned in the article, a clear added-value would be to automate and visualize CPU utilization delta (deviation from an established baseline) between releases or code changes. 

This approach would allow fast detection of CPU bottleneck or improvements following software changes, improving the overall performance and scalability of the production environment over the long run, as well as keeping the cloud or on-premise hardware cost under control.

Here is a small snippet from the original article:

"Java mixed-mode flame graphs provide a complete visualization of CPU usage and have just been made possible by a new JDK option: -XX:+PreserveFramePointer. We've been developing these at Netflix for everyday Java performance analysis as they can identify all CPU consumers and issues, including those that are hidden from other profilers..."