Technology has come to a point when no size can fit all. This goes for computing response time as well. While functions like online commerce can work with just a lightly slower response time, other functions like messaging need very low lateness. As we go ahead the low latency requirements are just getting lower.

Although a number of applications with low latency initially used Java for its many qualities, it has not fared so well with ultra low lateness. Some of Java’s features are usually a hindrance when it comes to low latency. The Garbage Collection feature, which is otherwise a strength in its memory allocation, makes the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to pause occasionally.

The Problem with Garbage Collection

The JVM is a managed run time system that helps in improving portability and productivity. One of its major features is its memory allocation, assigning memory to running operations and freeing up space by removing unused memory. This process of removing unused memory is known as Garbage Collection (GC).

GC is instrumental in Java’s ability to work in different operating systems. But it also creates a problem for its runtime. Every time the JVM executes GC, the system goes on a pause. Bigger the heap of memory, longer the pause.

The problem here is that during GC Java does not just slow down, it comes to a complete standstill. The pause may last for a just a millisecond, but it is a definite irritant. A number of developers have tried to manipulate their memory allocations to delay or reduce the pause, but the JVM’s functioning means that they can never really turn it off.

Unfortunately, the problem becomes even bigger with modern servers with their large memory. With more processes running, garbage also builds quickly. The system has to eventually stop everything and clean up  and this means pauses. In low latency applications this complete stoppage is Java’s biggest problem.

Finding a solution with Azul Zing

To deal with the GC problem most JVMs try to manipulate the pauses. But as we pointed out before, they can never quite turn it off. At best, they can only hope to delay or minimize it. Zing, a JVM, works by eliminating the cause of the problem — the GC. It works by removing the trigger factors from GC. Zing has formidable memory capacity that can be easily tuned, giving it better odds in dealing with any situation.

GC is not usually the easiest task to perform, even for seasoned developers. It will depend on the application as well as the load. Zing works by removing the variables in GC, limiting it to just heap size. Its simplification works perfectly for low latency applications. The lack of complicated tuning mechanism means that it can keep response time to the minimum. In other words, Zing enables Java to work in low latency with minimum effort!

In fact, there is little effort involved in installing it.  Zing is based on HotSpotJVM, meaning that can be installed by a rookie! It also works perfectly well on Linux. Just install and let Zing do the work for you!

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