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Understanding Java Garbage Collection


Garbage collection is an integral part of application behavior on Java platforms, yet it is often misunderstood. Developers have choices in selecting and tuning collector mechanisms as well as in application architecture. This session reviews and classifies various garbage collection techniques available in JVMs today. After a quick overview of common garbage collection techniques such as generational, parallel, stop-the-world, incremental, and concurrent algorithms, it defines terms and metrics common to all collectors. The presentation also classifies each major JVM collector’s mechanisms and discusses the trade-offs involved in balancing requirements for responsiveness, throughput, space, and available memory.


Gil Tene is CTO and co-founder of Azul Systems, and represents Azul Systems on the Executive Committee of the JCP (Java Community Process). He has been involved with virtual machine technologies for the past 20 years and has been building Java technology-based products since 1995. Gil pioneered Azul's Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector (C4), Java Virtualization, Elastic Memory, and various managed runtime and systems stack technologies that combine to deliver the industry's most scalable and robust Java platforms.

A Javaone "Rockstar", at JavaOne 2013 in September, 2013, Gil was also honored as JCP member/participant of the year. In 2006 he was named one of the Top 50 Agenda Setters in the technology industry by Prior to co-founding Azul in 2002, Gil held key technology positions at Nortel Networks, Shasta Networks and at Check Point Software Technologies, where he delivered several industry-leading traffic management solutions including the industry's first Firewall-1 based security appliance. He architected operating systems for Stratus Computer, clustering solutions at Qualix/Legato, and served as an officer in the Israeli Navy Computer R and D unit. Gil holds a BSEE from The Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and has been awarded 27 patents in computer-related technologies.

Twitter: @giltene

Company Information

Azul Systems delivers high-performance and elastic Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) with unsurpassed scalability, manageability and production-time visibility. Designed and optimized for x86 servers and enterprise-class workloads, Azul’s Zing is the only runtime that supports highly consistent and pauseless execution for throughput-intensive and QoS-sensitive Java applications. Azul’s products enable organizations to dramatically simplify Java deployments with fewer instances, greater response time consistency, and dramatically better operating costs.

Azul is a venture-backed company founded in 2002. Based in Sunnyvale, California, it has offices around the globe, including the US, EMEA and APAC and has extensive partner and reseller networks in EMEA and Eastern Europe. Azul’s first products, launched in 2005, were packaged as hardware appliances (i.e. Vega 1, 2 & 3). In 2010 Azul shipped its first pure software-based Java runtime, called Zing.

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  • Stefan S.

    Loved the presentation! Please let us know when slides from the talk are available

    1 · October 2, 2013

  • Terry B.

    This was a really good talk. I didn't even realize how late it had gotten until it was over.

    1 · October 2, 2013

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