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Most industry analysts make the blanket assumption that Java will always suffer performance disadvantages compared with other languages because Java was developed to allow Java programs to run on multiple platforms. You can find this assumption woven through almost all mainstream articles and opinions regarding Java and NCs in modern enterprises.
in NC World
So we decided to find out for ourselves just how much of a disadvantage there is between Java and C++, the language to which Java is most often compared. We examined the architectural components of Java and compared the performance of programs written in Java to similar programs in C++.
We expected to see a modicum of lagging performance in Java in each test, though we were skeptical about it running several times slower than C++. To our shock, we rarely found any differences in speed at all. Where Java is significantly slower than C++, it's due to Java's stringent security model or to garbage collection.
While we welcome any performance improvements in any language, it appears that if you can use it in the proper context, Java has already come a long way since its inception -- far enough to be considered a top performer along with C++ in many cases.
The analysis divides the execution of a program into four functional groups:
These are functions that must be performed by any program running on a computer regardless of its implementation language.
Using these functional groups, we can develop a theoretical performance comparison between programs written in C++ and Java. In addition, we tried different coding approaches to demonstrate the performance characteristics for programs in each group.
The tests are divided into three programs:
All performance numbers were generated using the following environment:
For the purposes of this article, we define a "platform" as a combination of CPU type and operating system. For example, Windows NT running on an Intel processor is one platform, Linux running on Intel processor is another, and Linux running on a Digital Alpha processor is still another platform.
Developers create new programs by writing code into one or more source files. A compiler/linker translates these source files into executable files. These executable files can be run on the target machine. The first step in running a program is to load the executable files into memory.