RFC: Experiment in accessing/managing persistent memory from Java

Viswanathan, Sandhya sandhya.viswanathan at intel.com
Thu May 31 05:21:17 UTC 2018

Hi Andrew/Jonathan,

Thanks a lot for sharing this work. Copying hotspot-compiler-dev to get their feedback as well.

Couple of thoughts/observations below:
* Supporting ByteBuffer on persistent memory using existing FileChannel and MappedByteBuffer mechanism sounds like a very good idea.

* Extending FileChannel.map to take additional parameter to indicate that the ByteBuffer is backed by persistent memory is a small API change.

* Adding MappedByteBuffer.force(int from, int to) method on smaller range is very useful in addition to the force() on entire ByteBuffer.

* The underlying force0_mapsync() could be implemented in terms of new unsafe APIs which in turn could be intrinsified.
   The advantage of this is that the unsafe APIs could then be used for other future persistent memory APIs in the JRE.
   Specifically the following two unsafe APIs would be useful:
   a) public native void flush(long address, long size);
   b) public native void storeFence();
   storeFence() exists today but doesn't generate any instruction for x86.
   Wondering if we could have additional boolean parameter to force the sfence generation.
 * DEFAULT_CACHE_LINE_SIZE is 128 in src/hotspot/cpu/x86/globalDefinitions_x86.hpp whereas actual cache line on the hardware is 64 bytes.
    This could be the cause for some of performance that you saw with compiler intrinsic vs pure C native.

Best Regards,

RFC: Experiment in accessing/managing persistent memory from Java
Andrew Dinn adinn at redhat.com
Mon May 21 09:47:46 UTC 2018

I have been helping one of my Red Hat colleagues, Jonathan Halliday, to

investigate provision of a Java equivalent to Intel's libpmem suite of C

libraries [1]. This approach avoids the significant cost of using the

Intel libraries from Java via JNI (or, worse, as a virtual driver for a

persistent memory device).

  Jonathan has modified the JVM/JDK to allow a MappedByteBuffer to be

mapped over persistent memory, providing equivalent function to libpmem


  On top of this he implemented a Java journaled log class providing

equivalent functionality to one of the Intel client libs, libpmemlog,

built over libpmem.

  The modified MappedByteBuffer can be configured to use either i) a

registered native method or ii) a JIT intrinsic to perform the critical

task of cache line writeback i.e. the persistence step (the intrinsic is

my contribution).

Jonathan's tests compare use of JNI, registered native and intrinsic

with an equivalent C program to write a large swathe of records to a

journaled log file stored in persistent memory. Performance is worse

than C when relying on JNI and significantly better with JVM/JDK

support. Indeed, as one might reasonably expect, use of the JIT

intrinsic almost completely eliminates writeback costs.

The journaled log code, jdk dev tree patch, build instructions, test

code plus C equivalent and test results are all available from

Jonathan's git repo [2].

For those who do not want to look at the actual code, the README file

[3] provides background to use of persistent memory, an overview of the

design, and summary details of the test process and results.

[1] https://pmem.io/pmdk/

[2] https://github.com/jhalliday/pmem

[3] http://github.com://jhalliday/pmem/README.md<http://github.com/jhalliday/pmem/README.md>

n.b. Jonathan has experimented with using this same prototype to replace

the journaled log used in the Red Hat Narayana transaction manager. It

provides a significant improvement on the current disk file based log,

both for throughput and latency (the code is not yet available as

getting it to work involved some horrible hacking of the build to

migrate up to jdk11).


Andrew Dinn


Senior Principal Software Engineer

Red Hat UK Ltd

Registered in England and Wales under Company Registration No. 03798903

Directors: Michael Cunningham, Michael ("Mike") O'Neill, Eric Shander


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