Java Server Performance

According to the documentation, the SPECjbb 2013 benchmark has "a usage model based on a world-wide supermarket company with an IT infrastructure that handles a mix of point-of-sale requests, online purchases, and data-mining operations". It uses the latest Java 7 features and makes use of XML, compressed communication, and messaging with security. We tested with four groups of transaction injectors and backends.

Benchmark architecture diagram

Several readers commented that we should try to optimize for lower response times instead of just optimizing for maximum throughput, so we have changed our relatively basic tuning. We left out "+AggressiveOpts" as this is still somewhat a risk for stability and the performance does not increase tangibly, and we used "-XX:+AlwaysPreTouch". Also we are more generous with the amount of allocated memory. These results are thus no longer comparable to our previous results. Our full parameters are:

"-server -Xmx8G -Xms8G -Xmn4G -XX:+AlwaysPreTouch -XX:+UseLargePages"

With these settings, the benchmark takes about 47GB-52GB of RAM. The first metric is basically maximum throughput.

SPECJBB 2013-Multi max-jOPS

Our new tuning has resulted in higher results, and all of the new Xeon scale well. However, if you start looking at it from a performance/watt perspective, the results are good but not spectacular. The power consumption of the Xeon E5-2695 v3 is similar to the Xeon E5-2697 v2, and the former has a 13% performance advantage.

The Critical-jOPS metric, is a throughput metric under response time constraint (SLA).

SPECJBB 2013-Multi Critical-jOPS

With our new tuning, the critical jOPS make a lot more sense, so we believe we have taken a step forward. Notice that the Xeon E5-2695 v3, despite its clock speed disadvantage (2.3 at least, 2.8 at the most), is capable of keeping up with the Xeon E5-2697 v2 (2.7 at the least, 3GHz at the most). The improvements in Haswell are measureable.

However, it must be said that while this is a step forward if you're buying a server, it's not a large one. You get 13% more throughput and the same response time for a few hundred dollars less (Xeon E5-2695 v3 vs E5-2697 v2).

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  • MorinMoss - Friday, August 9, 2019 - link

    Hello from 2019.
    AMD has a LOT of ground to make up but it's a new world and a new race
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/14605/the-and-ryzen...
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    As an owner of a dual Opteron 6376 system, I shudder at how far behind that platform is. Then I look down and see that I have both of my kidneys as I didn't need to sell one for a pair of Xeons so I don't feel so bad. For the price of one E5-2660v3 I was able to pick up two Opteron 6376's. Reply
  • wallysb01 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    But the rest of the system cost is about the same. So you get 1/2 the performance for a 10% discount. YEPPY! Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Nope. Build price after all the upgrades over the course of two years is some where around $3600 USD. The two Opterons accounted for a bit more than a third of that price. Not bad for 32 cores and 128 GB of memory. Even with Haswell-E being twice as fast, I'd have to spend nearly twice as much (CPU's cost twice as much as does DDR4 compared to when I bought my DDR3 memory). To put it into prespective, a single Xeon E5 2999v3 might be faster than my build but I was able to build an entire system for less than the price Intel's flagship server CPU.

    I will say something odd - component prices have increased since I purchased parts. RAM prices have gone up by 50% and the motherboard I use has seemingly increased in price by $100 due to scarcity. Enthusiast video card prices have also gotten crazy over the past couple of years so a high end video card is $100 more for top of the line in the consumer space.
    Reply
  • wallysb01 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Going to the E5 2699 isn’t needed. A pair of 2660 v3s is probably going to be nearly 2x as fast the 6376, especially for floating point where your 32 cores are more like 16 cores or for jobs that can’t use very many threads. True a pair of 2660s will be twice as expensive. On a total system it would add about $1.5K. We’ll have to wait for the workstation slanted view, but for an extra $1.5K, you’d probably have a workstation that’s much better at most tasks. Reply
  • Kevin G - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Actually if you're aiming to double the performance of a dual Opteron 6376, two E5-2695v3's look to be a good pick for that target according to this review. A pair of those will set you pack $4848 which is more than what my complete system build cost.

    Processors are only one component. So while a dual Xeon E5-2695v3 system would be twice as fast, total system cost is also approaching double due to memory and motherboard pricing differences.
    Reply
  • Kahenraz - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I'm running a 6376 server as well and, although I too yearn for improved single-threaded performance, I could actually afford to own this one. As delicious as these Intel processors are, they are not priced for us mere mortals.

    From a price/performance standpoint, I would still build another Opteron server unless I knew that single-threaded performance was critical.
    Reply
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    The E5-2630 v3 is cheaper than the Opteron 6376 and I would be very surprised if it didn't offer better performance. Reply
  • Kahenraz - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    6376s can be had very cheaply on the second-hand market, especially bundled with a motherboard. Additionally, the E5-2630 v3 requires both a premium on the board and DDR4 memory.

    I'd wager you could still build an Opteron 6376 system for half or less.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    It'd only be fair to go with the second hand market for the E5-2630v3's but being new means they don't exist. :)

    Still going by new prices, an Opteron 6376 will be cheaper but roughly 33% from what I can tell. You're correct that the new Xeon's have a premium pricing on motherboards and DDR4 memory.
    Reply

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