Basic Research on Computing Fundamentals Delivers Once-in-a-Lifetime Performance Improvements

Twitter runs one of the most visible social networks in the world. Its move to a microservices infrastructure has addressed scalability challenges it faced in the past. Because Twitter is a free service (apart from the premium features it offers to enterprise customers), cost-effectiveness is a necessity that must be balanced with uptime. 

As such, the company is constantly looking into ways to increase availability of the platform while keeping an eye on costs. Twitter saw Oracle GraalVM, a language-independent compiler engine and virtual machine, and decided to try it. Average CPU savings for compiler innovation are in the 1–2 percent range, but using Oracle GraalVM, Twitter realized between 8 and 11 percent CPU savings, depending on the microservice ported. This enables rare, once-in-a-lifetime savings for compiler innovation.


This report was originally published in August 2018 and was updated in December 2019.

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