CMS initial mark pauses

Y. S. Ramakrishna y.s.ramakrishna at
Thu Oct 14 20:17:29 UTC 2010

Just realized that this is on HPUX/Itanium on a
JVM built by HP. You'll of course need  to go to HP to have that
addressed; sorry for not reading yr email carefully enough to
note the platform information that you had included before
writing my response below.

-- ramki

On 10/14/10 11:56, Y. S. Ramakrishna wrote:
> Hi Adam --
> Do you have a fuller GC log (perhaps including
> PrintCMSStatistics=2) to help make a sharper diagnosis?
> It could be:-
>    6412968 CMS: Long initial mark pauses
> which we have unfortunately not gotten to addressing yet:
> CMS initial mark work is (still) done single-threaded.
> Usually there is little such work so we are usually fine,
> but if survivor spaces are large and full and/or if CMS triggering
> occupancy is such that CMS runs frequently then you can
> be affected by long serial initial mark pauses because
> the work is non-trivial. (CMS-remark and scavenges on
> the other hand are done by several worker threads working
> in parallel.)
> Here's an excerpt from the "workaround" section of that bug
> (reproduced here because i cannot seem to get
> to display it) :-
>> This is not really a viable workaround since it might lead to suboptimal
>> heap configuration:
>> (1) use no survivor spaces (at the risk of larger scavenge pauses, 
>> larger remark pauses,
>>     even concurrent mode failures)
>> (2) use a sufficiently large heap so as to be able to afford to set a
>>     mark initiation threshold above the low water-mark (after a major
>>     collection cycle). This will keep init-mark's riding on the 
>> coat-tails
>>     of scavenges.
>> *** (#1 of 2): 2006-04-13 09:53:14 PDT xxxx at
>> Also, if using iCMS (Inceremental CMS), drop the Incremental mode and 
>> revert to
>> vanilla CMS.
>> *** (#2 of 2): 2010-04-14 11:02:03 PDT xxxx at
> If you have support, you can try escalating it via your support channels
> to get this addressed, especially if the workaround/retuning doesn't
> do the job.
> -- ramki
> On 10/14/10 11:31, Adam Hawthorne wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm seeing a customer running CMS with some fairly long initial mark 
>> pauses, especially relative to all the other pauses.  The machine is 
>> (I believe) an Itanium 6-way running HP-UX, with HP's version of 
>> Hotspot, version .
>> What I'm seeing is that all the remark and young gc pauses are less 
>> than 500ms, and very consistent.  There are a lot of initial mark 
>> pauses that also fall in this range.  That's our target, and things 
>> look really good.  The problem is that there are occasional pauses of 
>> up to 1.5s, which is unacceptable for the customer.  Does anyone have 
>> any ideas what can cause (seemingly random) long initial mark pauses?
>> Here's an example of one of the long mark pauses:
>> 45946.930: [GC [1 CMS-initial-mark: 957254K(1598236K)] 
>> 1473999K(2151196K), 1.3505680 secs] [Times: user=1.34 sys=0.00, 
>> real=1.35 secs]
>> Here's an example of one of the more typical pauses:
>> 45954.362: [GC [1 CMS-initial-mark: 963824K(1598236K)] 
>> 1001370K(2151196K), 0.1579016 secs] [Times: user=0.16 sys=0.00, 
>> real=0.16 secs]
>>  From my understanding, initial mark pauses are supposed to be 
>> relatively short, and usually shorter than remark pauses, but I don't 
>> have a remark pause greater than 300ms.
>> Any help is appreciated.  Thanks,
>> Adam
>> -- 
>> Adam Hawthorne
>> Software Engineer
>> BASIS International Ltd.
>> <>
>> +1.505.345.5232 Phone
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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