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Taming GC Pauses for Humongous Java Heaps in Spark Graph Computing

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Spark nodes are shifting from commodity hardware to more powerful systems with higher memory environments (200GB+). As an in-memory computing framework, popular wisdom has it that large Java heaps result in long garbage collection pauses slowing down Spark’s overall throughput. Through several case studies using large Java heaps, we will show it is possible to maintain low GC pauses for better application throughput. In this presentation, we introduce the Hotspot G1 collector as the best GC for Spark solutions running in large memory environments. We first discuss Hotspot G1 internal operations and several tuning flags. Those flags can be used to set desired GC pause target, change adaptive GC thresholds, and adjust GC activities at runtime. We will provide several case studies from Spark graph computing application running 80GB+ heap to show how we can tune those flags to remove unpredicted and protracted GC pauses for better application throughput.

Photo of Eric Kaczmarek

About Eric

Eric Kaczmarek is a Senior Java Performance Architect in the Software Solution Group. He has been at Intel for over 17 years. For the better part of the last 10 years, he focused on optimizing the Java Virtual Machine for Intel Architectures. Because of his deep and broad Java Virtual Machine expertise, Eric leads the effort to enable and optimize Big Data frameworks such as Hadoop* and HBase* for Intel based platforms. He earned a BS degree in Computer Science and Engineering for the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Photo of Liqi Yi

About Liqi

Liqi is a senior Java Performance engineer at Intel software Solution Group. He has extensive experience with HBase performance optimization, Java Garbage Collection tuning, and hardware platforms characterization. He held master degree in computer science and minor for applied mathematics.