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NATS Java Client Latency Benchmarking

Scott Fauerbach — June 21, 2021

NATS Java Client Latency Benchmarking

Many users have asked to see how the NATS Java client performs specifically in regard to latency. This blog will discuss using the NatsAutoBench program to run a latency test and how to generate a CSV file that can be used to make a histogram.

The NatsAutoBench can run a variety of tests. This blog will focus only on the latency testing.

Running the Latency Test

You can run the latency test from an IDE or a command line, but you will need to build from the source code.

  1. Get the source code from https://github.com/nats-io/nats.java using git clone or downloading the zip.
  2. Build the code. There is a gradle file in the directory. Your IDE should be able to handle this, or you can build from the command line using the ./gradlew clean build -x test
  3. Prepare the correct command line arguments or modify the NatsAutoBench code before you build to have the correct arguments. The code itself has examples on how to do this.
  4. Run the program from your IDE or command line.

Running from the command line

If for example, the version of the code you have is 2.11.4, the build will create jnats-2.11.4-SNAPSHOT jars. If you are running from the nats.java directory the command will look like this:

java -cp build/libs/jnats-2.11.4-SNAPSHOT.jar:build/libs/jnats-2.11.4-SNAPSHOT-examples.jar io.nats.examples.autobench.NatsAutoBench [serverURL] latency [tiny|small|med|large] [-lcsv <filespec>]

Options

Server URL

If your server is running somewhere other than localhost:4222, you will need to supply this information as the first parameter on the command line.

Latency Instruction

Use the word latency to tell the program to run just the latency test.

Test Size

You can specify the size of the test which determines the number of messages to be run for each payload byte size.

InstructionMessagesPayload Bytes
(none)50000, 8, 32, 256, 512, 1024, 4096, 8192
nano50, 8, 32, 256, 512
tiny500, 8, 32, 256, 512, 1024
small2500, 8, 32, 256, 512, 1024
med25000, 8, 32, 256, 512, 1024, 4096, 8192
large250000, 8, 32, 256, 512, 1024, 4096, 8192

CSV File

The program run will always output a simple results table:

Latency                 |           nanos              |            |
| payload     |   count |    min |  median  |      max | std dev ms |
| ----------- | ------- | ------ | -------- | -------- | ---------- |
| 0 bytes     |  25,000 |     38 |    68.50 |      396 | +/-   0.44 |
| 8 bytes     |  25,000 |     36 |    62.00 |      402 | +/-   0.42 |
| 32 bytes    |  25,000 |     36 |    55.50 |      434 | +/-   0.38 |
| 256 bytes   |  25,000 |     36 |    60.70 |    2,118 | +/-   0.43 |
| 512 bytes   |  25,000 |     37 |    63.60 |    2,342 | +/-   0.46 |
| 1024 bytes  |  25,000 |     35 |    67.40 |    4,028 | +/-   0.48 |
| 4096 bytes  |  25,000 |     37 |    63.70 |    2,274 | +/-   0.50 |
| 8192 bytes  |  25,000 |     40 |    86.30 |   12,998 | +/-   0.87 |

Final memory usage is 278.09 mb / 287.00 mb / 3.48 gb free/total/max

If you would like to get a CSV file that has a timing row for every single message, you must specify the -lcsv <filespec> flag. This file can be used to create a histogram.

Example

Run a large latency and output to a file:

java -cp ... NatsAutoBench myhost:4333 latency large -lcsv /home/myuser/nats/latency.csv

Each cell represents a message timing in nanoseconds for the run of the payload byte size in that column. There will be the same number of rows for each payload size.

0 bytes,8 bytes,32 bytes,256 bytes,512 bytes,1024 bytes,4096 bytes,8192 bytes
35800,35500,37800,36500,35700,38300,38500,41100
35800,35700,37900,37100,37600,38400,39000,42700
35900,35900,38300,37200,37700,38600,39200,42700
35900,36000,38300,38500,37700,38600,39300,42700
35900,36000,38500,38600,37800,38700,39600,43100
35900,36100,38800,38700,37900,38700,39700,43200
36000,36100,38800,38700,38000,38700,39700,43300
...

You can use a spreadsheet or other tool to create a histogram:

Test Considerations

Many things will affect performance. Here are just a few things to consider:

  1. CPU power of machine running the test program and the server.
  2. Mode of the server. Don’t run the server with -DV debugging flag, run it like you would in production.
  3. Physical networking configuration. For true benchmarking, it would be best not to run the test from your laptop over wi-fi connecting to a server in another region. Unless that is your production configuration.

About the Author

Scott Fauerbach is a member of the engineering team at Synadia Communications .


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