Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Putting jSuneido Through Its Paces

I've spent the day exercising jSuneido. I planned to do more of this sooner, but I kept finding other parts to work on. Partly I'm scared of finding bugs, which at this stage in the game are liable to be obscure and hard to fix. Wimp!

But so far, no new bugs. I've had three computers, each with multiple instances of clients (from 4 to 40), all hammering constantly on the jSuneido server. So far so good - it appears to be solid. I've been using JConsole to monitor it. It's fun to watch the memory grow and then shrink after garbage collection, and threads come and go in the thread pool.

My iMac is just dual core. I also want to run some tests on a quad core machine at the office. More cores is a better test of concurrency since there is more going on literally at the same time, rather than just with context switching. Also, at the office I've got even more machines to run clients on. And of course, I want to see how it scales with more cores, which is to a large degree the point of this whole project.

One thing I'm not sure about is whether I should be limiting the size of the thread pool. Currently I'm just using a standard Executors.newCachedThreadPool which isn't limited. So if I fire up 40 clients making constant requests, I get 40 threads. But 40 threads on 2 cores presumably means a lot of context switching overhead. I'll have to experiment. (Note: in normal operation there wouldn't be one thread per client because the clients wouldn't be making continuous requests. There would only be as many threads as concurrent requests.) The minimum context switching would be to have the same number of threads as cores. But you want to service clients concurrently, i.e. a long request shouldn't block other requests. So you have to sacrifice some context switching overhead to gain more concurrency.

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