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9.3. Garbage Collection and Performance Tuning

For all the tests referred to in this book the JVM garbage collection option used was: -XX:+UseParallelOldGC. Many people choose the Concurrent Mark and Sweep (CMS) collector, collection is slower on both the Eden space and Old generation. The following graph shows the difference between using the throughput collector with parallel collection on the Old generation in comparison to using the CMS collector, which works on the Old generation and parallel collection on the Eden space.
Transactional OLTP Workload

Figure 9.5. Transactional OLTP Workload

The difference in performance between the Parallel Garbage Collector and the Concurrent Mark and Sweep Garbage collector can be explained by their underlying design. If you do not specify the option -XX:+UseParallelOldGC, the throughput collector defaults to parallel collection on the Eden space, and single threaded collection on the Old generation. With a 12GB heap, the Old generation is 8GB in size, which is a lot of memory to garbage collect in a single thread fashion. By specifying that the Old generation should also be collected in parallel, the collection algorithms designed for the highest throughput is used, hence the name "throughput collector". When the option -XX:+UseParallelOldGC is specified it also enables the option -XX:+UseParNewGC. In comparison, the CMS collector is not optimized for throughput but instead for more predictable response times. The focus of this book is tuning for throughput, not response time. The choice of garbage collector depends on whether higher throughput or more predictable response times benefits the application most. For real-time systems, the trade-off is usually lower throughput for more deterministic results in response times.