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Java Performance [Paperback]

Charlie Hunt , Binu John
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 14, 2011 0137142528 978-0137142521 1
“The definitive master class in performance tuning Java applications…if you love all the gory details, this is the book for you.”

–James Gosling, creator of the Java Programming Language


Improvements in the Java platform and new multicore/multiprocessor hardware have made it possible to dramatically improve the performance and scalability of Java software.

Java Performance covers the latest Oracle and third-party tools for monitoring and measuring performance on a wide variety of hardware architectures and operating systems. The authors present dozens of tips and tricks you’ll find nowhere else.

You’ll learn how to construct experiments that identify opportunities for optimization, interpret the results, and take effective action. You’ll also find powerful insights into microbenchmarking–including how to avoid common mistakes that can mislead you into writing poorly performing software. Then, building on this foundation, you’ll walk through optimizing the Java HotSpot VM, standard and multitiered applications; Web applications, and more. Coverage includes

  • Taking a proactive approach to meeting application performance and scalability goals
  • Monitoring Java performance at the OS level in Windows, Linux, and Oracle Solaris environments
  • Using modern Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and OS observability tools to profile running systems, with almost no performance penalty
  • Gaining “under the hood” knowledge of the Java HotSpot VM that can help you address most Java performance issues
  • Integrating JVM-level and application monitoring
  • Mastering Java method and heap (memory) profiling
  • Tuning the Java HotSpot VM for startup, memory footprint, response time, and latency
  • Determining when Java applications require rework to meet performance goals
  • Systematically profiling and tuning performance in both Java SE and Java EE applications
  • Optimizing the performance of the Java HotSpot VM

Using this book, you can squeeze maximum performance and value from all your Java applications–no matter how complex they are, what platforms they’re running on, or how long you’ve been running them.

Frequently Bought Together

Java Performance + Java Concurrency in Practice + Effective Java (2nd Edition)
Price for all three: $127.90

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Editorial Reviews Review

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Guide Type
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Audience Level
Beginner to Intermediate
Beginner to Intermediate
Intermediate to Advanced
List Price
Publication Date
October, 2011
July, 2012
April, 2011
September, 2011
Deitel / Deitel
Hunt / John
Prentice Hall
Print Book
Kindle Book
Brief Description
An introduction to programming and Java; no previous programming experience required.
An introduction to Java, for readers with some previous programming experience.
A comprehensive guide to Java, for professional programmers new to Java, but experienced with other programming languages.
An authoritative guide to creating faster, more reliable applications, for intermediate to advanced programmers.

About the Author

Charlie Hunt is the JVM performance lead engineer at Oracle. He is responsible for improving the performance of the HotSpot JVM and Java SE class libraries. He has also been involved in improving the performance of the Oracle GlassFish and Oracle WebLogic Server. A regular JavaOne speaker on Java performance, he also coauthored NetBeans™ IDE Field Guide (Prentice Hall, 2005).

Binu John is a senior performance engineer at Ning, Inc., where he focuses on improving the performance and scalability of the Ning platform to support millions of page views per month. Before that, he spent more than a decade working on Java-related performance issues at Sun Microsystems, where he served on Sun’s Enterprise Java Performance team. John has contributed to developing industry standard benchmarks such as SPECjms2007 and SPECJAppServer2010; published several performance whitepapers; and contributed to’s XMLTest and WSTest benchmark projects.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137142528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137142521
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential information hard-to-find anywhere else January 11, 2012
This is an outstanding book and one of the few that, even after working through, I'll be keeping within reach at my desk. After almost a decade working on the JVM, I've only recently begun work on some software that really strains our systems, processing a million and some records a day with several instances each on multiple threads, and so until recently, performance has always been a secondary concern. While the app's code is certainly not perfect, I started wondering whether any of the mysterious extended options available to the JVM might take some of the weight off the system without having to wait until the next formal development/release cycle. This is what prompted me to look at this book, but as I'll describe, I found much more.

I was very impressed with the amount of information provided: unlike most computer-related books, this is dense with text, rather than long code samples, screenshots and diagrams. Why is this a good thing? This is not just a book on how to use the JVM and its related performance tools, but also a book on the JVM's internal architecture (including its memory model and garbage collectors) and on the art of benchmarking and performance testing. Though the prose can be dry, the authors are very patient about describing these topics to readers in a clear way, and sometimes with great detail. OTOH, as this is written with experienced developers in mind, beware that it can at times be challenging (even for someone who's done their fair share of coding!).

There are a few major areas covered:

1) Tuning the JVM. This usually involves applying command-line options to the JVM executable (I can almost guarantee you'll discover you have more control over the JVM than you thought you did!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but rather Oracle Centric November 23, 2011
The last book to cover this topic n any detail was Steve Wilson et al's "Java Platform Performance", which was published in 2000. HotSpot has moved on a fair bit since then, so its good to see a new book covering the subject.

The sections on JVM tuning and profiling are particularly strong. There's also a decent section on HotSpot Garbage Collectors, though I would have liked to see some more discussion on alternative GC algorithms such as IBM's Balanced Garbage Collector and Azul's C4.

It should be noted that there is a definite bias towards Oracle's tools and hardware. For example the section on "Choosing the Right CPU architecture" concentrated mainly on Oracle's SPARC chips. Also the two profilers featured are the Oracle Solaris Studio Performance Analysiser Tool, and the NetBeans profiler. Likewise in the Java EE Section all the examples are based on Glassfish.

The book doesn't provide a recipe for solving every problem, but does provide enough information for non-performance specialist developers and others involved in application performance tuning work, to solve the majority of commonly encountered performance problems.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as great as some claimed April 9, 2013
By joe
I read somebody recommend this book and compare with Effective Java and Java Concurrency in Practice, so I started to read it. I am into chapter 3 now and found it is definitely NOT in the same tier with other two. The writing quality (especially in terms of being coherent to a theme, and explaining well what needs to be explained) is far inferior. It is still a book worth reading, but not as valuable as a classic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for any Java programmer March 14, 2012
The authors have spent an enormous amount of time and effort putting together a comprehensive and very thorough book on Java internals. I have read a similar book on C++ called the C++ Object Model, and have been waiting for a Java equivalent for years.

The book starts with the "basics" - which is considered advanced by many other texts, and covers system monitoring. Think of an entire book on system monitoring summarized in one chapter. You will know everything you need to know as a programmer about how to monitor and detect issues with your environment. The fun starts in chapter 3 with an overview of JVM and the VM's internals - including basics of memory management, process management, thread management, etc. Different types of Garbage collectors are then covered in detail; how they work, how objects are cleaned up, how objects are promoted, etc. By the end of this chapter, you will know GC. There is more, much more, but chapter 3 is a definite favorite.

There are many causes of application's performance issues, the authors spend chapter 6 on how to profile an application and how to actually detect whether GC is the issue. It could be IO, or your choice of a bad data structure, etc. The point is, there are options available to you as a programmer and you will know how to at least check if not fix the major and most common performance issues.

After the application, it is time for tuning the JVM. The Java VM has added many bells and whistles over the years to help you tune how it behaves under certain scenarios. These options are explained, and examples are shown to aid you with the learning process.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading to boost your Apps Java Performance
Great read for all Java lovers looking to boost modern application performance. The books is fairly new and hence focuses on the current JDK/JRE features.
Published 3 days ago by Aakrit
5.0 out of 5 stars Great non-basic book for anyone using Java!
This book is a really good read even if you are already experienced with Java. It offers more in-depth knowledge and you won't have to skip through the first chapters because they... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Per Larsson
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for performance engineers!
This is a must read for performance engineers. But I would suggest reading this book in a different order:

Read Ch. 8 and 9 first. Read more
Published 5 months ago by hsu
5.0 out of 5 stars Drinking from the Firehose
Even though the Java platform (along with JVM) is one of the most ubiquotus software develoment platforms, it was surprisingly difficult to find a self-contained book dedicated to... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Emre Sevinc
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for application server administrators in production support
This is really a good books that explain all the concepts of application server and java , Must be part of every application server administrator's collection to understand how... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Pvs
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
While there is heavy concentration on the GlassFish server (obviously)...overall the book is really good at digging into the dirty details of the performance mechanics of web... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Tracy Adewunmi
5.0 out of 5 stars I think, with out looking into this book performance tuning is...
I have been looking all around for Java Performance tuning and no book or article gave excellent information as this book did. Read more
Published 13 months ago by O. Systems Inc.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the first part
Even if you don't do a lot of work with Java, the first section introduces you to performance monitoring and techniques in various operating systems. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nigel Tufnel
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for serious Java and JVM developers
This book is a must have for serious Java and JVM developers because it dissects the JVM objects lifecycle and garbage collection behavior. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Roberto
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference
I've enjoyed reading this excellent book on Java Performance.

Well written, concise.

Every Java development team should have a copy of this book available to... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Kelvin D. Meeks
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