[erlang-questions] BEAM performance?

Dmytro Lytovchenko dmytro.lytovchenko@REDACTED
Wed May 24 09:06:26 CEST 2017

First thing to consider, use HiPE on everything or nothing at all.
Switching between normal Erlang and HiPE native code is expensive.

On May 24, 2017 9:04 AM, "Oliver Korpilla" <Oliver.Korpilla@REDACTED> wrote:

> Hello.
> We wrote a moderately complex telco application at work using elixir, but
> I think the performance we observe would be similar in Erlang since
> basically it all depends on BEAM and OTP anyway, so please don't mind me
> asking here.
> We run message scenarios that involve ASN.1 encoding/decoding, several IP
> protocols, a proprietary transport we access through an Erlang port, etc.
> Message sequences will be handled through gen_fsm processes.
> The application is split over several nodes.
> What we've observed is:
> * First time scenario runs is super slow.
> * Second time, time is halved.
> * Third time, performance is very good, especially given the complex
> scenario.
> When analyzing bottlenecks in the software, we observed and tried the
> following:
> * I preloaded all modules into the VM and times improved significantly.
> * ASN.1 encoding on 1st try can take as much as 20ms on first run but go
> <1ms after for same message with minimally different content.
> * Using HiPE on the ASN.1 generated codec did worsen performance.
> * Executing the message codec at least once during startup improved ASN.1
> performance the most.
> * Two DB writes to same table row in short order can significantly
> decrease performance by causing multi-ms delays.
> (I know this is probably no surprise to anyone here but we're learning how
> the system behaves during runtime.)
> The curve described above still persists - the totals are just less.
> Our working assumption is that caching is impacting performance here, but
> we actually know too little about the BEAM runtime.
> * Are there mechanisms internal to BEAM impacting this? Or is it purely a
> property of the CPU architecture?
> * Could I stimulate BEAM to cache certain parts of the code ahead of time?
> The measurements are rough ones, done by log timestamps. ms granularity is
> enough for us to gauge overall performance of our signalling.
> Message performance for user 3 and onward are okay but users 1 and/or 2
> could be dropped because of timeouts, so optimizing these still matters.
> Thank you for any advice you can give,
> Oliver
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