If I can think of a way to reproduce the problem with a small script or application I will definitely post it to the list. I really have no idea what would cause this problem. If you have any suggestions about what types of application behavior would tend to lead to this issue I will give them a try.

Thank for the link to the JDK bug, that does seem to be what we are seeing.

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 7:51 AM, Jochen Theodorou <blackdrag@gmx.org> wrote:
Ideal would be to have a small application showing the problem. With an actual test we could analyze the problem much better. It is possible the issue is related to https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8151981, but there are also possible bugs in our invokedynamic usage. What I could gather so far is that

java.lang.invoke.MethodHandleNatives.setCallSiteTargetNormal(NativeĀ  Method)

will lock the compiler and stop all threads. And even if jvisualvm shows no locking, there might be still many many threads trying to recompile a callsite at the same time and wait for a lock to do so.

bye Jochen

On 14.03.2016 22:31, David Clark wrote:
I've been chasing a slowdown in our application for a couple of months
now. I have what I believe is a solution (no slowdown for 4 days now).
But I'm having difficulty understanding why the solution works.

Symptoms:

At random intervals and a random times our web servers will go from
serving responses in the 300 ms range to taking 30 seconds or more.
Sometimes the servers will recover, sometimes they require a restart of
the webserver (spring boot/tomcat). When the applications slow down we
always see the tomcat thread pool hit the maximum size. Every single
thread in the thread pool is in the RUNNABLE state but appears to be
making no progress. Successive thread dumps show that the stacks are
changing, but VERY slowly. The top of the stack is always this method:

at java.lang.invoke.MethodHandleNatives.setCallSiteTargetNormal(Native
Method).

The other common condition is that whatever application code is on the
stack is always dynamically compiled. Code that is @CompileStatic is
NEVER on the stack when we see these slowdowns.

The thread dumps showed that the application code is never waiting on
locks, socket reads, db connections, etc.

Solution:

The solution to the problem was to disable Indy compilation and return
to non-Indy compilation. However, I don't think Indy is the problem
here. I noticed that our Spring Boot executable jar contained BOTH
groovy-all-2.4.5.jar AND groovy-all-indy-2.4.5.jar. Someone forgot to
exclude the non-indy jars.

My theory:

Having both indy and non-indy jars on the classpath is confusing the JIT
compiler. Code will be continuously JIT-ed as different methods fight
over which class files to JIT, those loaded from the groovy-all jar or
those loaded from the groovy-all-indy jar. If this is true then the
compiler threads will be continuously running and applying native locks
which are invisible to tools like VisualVM. The result would be random
slowdowns because only certain combinations of code paths would result
in slowdowns. It would also cause application code to go very slowly as
the JIT compiler continuously re-compiles code over and over again.
Application code would be stuck mostly waiting for JIT operations to
complete as invalidated code is continuously removed and replaced.

For now I will be leaving Indy disabled until we can do more accurate
load testing in non production environments.

My Question:

Is this theory possible? Am I going in a direction that is possible or
likely?