Oracle unveils performance pack for Java 8

Looking to offer Java 17-level performance to legacy Java 8 server workloads, Oracle this week unveiled Java SE Subscription Enterprise Performance Pack, bringing modern garbage collection algorithms and other recent benefits to still-popular Java 8.

Introduced October 17, Enterprise Performance Pack offers significant memory management and performance boosts and serves as a drop-in replacement for JDK 8. Improvements brought to Java in the seven years between the releases of JDK 8, which arrived in March 2014, and JDK 17, which shipped in September 2021, are offered to JDK 8 users. In addition to garbage collection, improvements featured in Enterprise Performance Pack cover compact strings, enhanced observability, and dozens of other optimizations.

Enterprise Performance Pack is available now on MyOracleSupport for Java SE subscription customers and OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure) users, at no additional cost. Users of the pack will see immediate benefits on JDK 8 workloads running at near memory or CPU capacity, Oracle said. Testing on Oracle’s own products and cloud services has shown roughly 40% improvements in both memory and performance of heavily loaded applications. JDK 8 applications not running near capacity could see performance improved by as much as 5%, the company said.

Despite being nearly nine years old, JDK 8 still has lots of adherents. Application monitor New Relic in its 2022 State of the Java Ecosystem report, found that JDK 8 was being used by 46.45% of Java applications in production. JDK 8 and JDK 17 are both Long-Term Support (LTS) releases, as opposed to so-called feature releases such as the current JDK 19, which are supported by Oracle at the Premier level for just six months.

While many improvements in Enterprise Performance Pack will be gained with the default options, Oracle recommends studying the documentation to maximize performance and minimize memory utilization. For example, improving application responsiveness by enabling the scalable low-latency ZGC garbage collector requires passing the -XX:+UseZG option.

Enterprise Performance Pack supports headless Linux 64-bit workloads on Intel and Arm-based systems such as Ampere Altra.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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