Java UDx resource management

Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) allocate a set amount of memory when they start.

Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) allocate a set amount of memory when they start. This set memory allocation complicates memory management for Java UDxs, because memory cannot be dynamically allocated and freed by the UDx as it is processing data. This is differs from C++ UDxs which can dynamically allocate resources.

To control the amount of memory consumed by Java UDxs, Vertica has a memory pool named jvm that it uses to allocate memory for JVMs. If this memory pool is exhausted, queries that call Java UDxs block until enough memory in the pool becomes free to start a new JVM.

By default, the jvm pool has:

  • no memory of its own assigned to it, so it borrows memory from the GENERAL pool.

  • its MAXMEMORYSIZE set to either 10% of system memory or 2GB, whichever is smaller.

  • its PLANNEDCONCURRENCY set to AUTO, so that it inherits the GENERAL pool's PLANNEDCONCURRENCY setting.

You can view the current settings for the jvm pool by querying the RESOURCE_POOLS table:

 10%           | AUTO

When a SQL statement calls a Java UDx, Vertica checks if the jvm memory pool has enough memory to start a new JVM instance to execute the function call. Vertica starts each new JVM with its heap memory size set to approximately the jvm pool's MAXMEMORYSIZE parameter divided by its PLANNEDCONCURRENCY parameter. If the memory pool does not contain enough memory, the query blocks until another JVM exits and return their memory to the pool.

If your Java UDx attempts to consume more memory than has been allocated to the JVM's heap size, it exits with a memory error. You can attempt to resolve this issue by:

  • increasing the jvm pool's MAXMEMORYSIZE parameter.

  • decreasing the jvm pool's PLANNEDCONCURRENCY parameter.

  • changing your Java UDx's code to consume less memory.

Adjusting the jvm pool

When adjusting the jvm pool to your needs, you must consider two factors:

  • the amount of RAM your Java UDx requires to run

  • how many concurrent Java UDx functions you expect your database to run

You can learn the amount of memory your Java UDx needs using several methods. For example, your code can use Java's Runtime class to get an estimate of the total memory it has allocated and then log the value using ServerInterface.log(). (An instance of this class is passed to your UDx.) If you have multiple Java UDxs in your database, set the jvm pool memory size based on the UDx that uses the most memory.

The number of concurrent sessions that need to run Java UDxs may not be the same as the global PLANNEDCONCURRENCY setting. For example, you may have just a single user who runs a Java UDx, which means you can lower the jvm pool's PLANNEDCONCURRENCY setting to 1.

When you have an estimate for the amount of RAM and the number of concurrent user sessions that need to run Java UDXs, you can adjust the jvm pool to an appropriate size. Set the pool's MAXMEMORYSIZE to the maximum amount of RAM needed by the most demanding Java UDx multiplied by the number of concurrent user sessions that need to run Java UDxs. Set the pool's PLANNEDCONCURENCY to the numebr of simultaneous user sessions that need to run Java UDxs.

For example, suppose your Java UDx requires up to 4GB of memory to run and you expect up to two user sessions use Java UDx's. You would use the following command to adjust the jvm pool:


The MEMORYSIZE is set to 8GB, which is the 4GB maximum memory use by the Java UDx multiplied by the 2 concurrent user sessions.

See Managing workloads for more information on tuning the jvm and other resource pools.

Freeing JVM memory

The first time users call a Java UDx during their session, Vertica allocates memory from the jvm pool and starts a new JVM. This JVM remains running for as long as the user's session is open so it can process other Java UDx calls. Keeping the JVM running lowers the overhead of executing multiple Java UDxs by the same session. If the JVM did not remain open, each call to a Java UDx would require additional time for Vertica to allocate resources and start a new JVM. However, having the JVM remain open means that the JVM's memory remains allocated for the life of the session whether or not it will be used again.

If the jvm memory pool is depleted, queries containing Java UDxs either block until memory becomes available or eventually fail due a lack of resources. If you find queries blocking or failing for this reason, you can allocate more memory to the jvm pool and increase its PLANNEDCONCURRENCY. Another option is to ask users to call the RELEASE_JVM_MEMORY function when they no longer need to run Java UDxs. This function closes any JVM belonging to the user's session and returns its allocated memory to the jvm memory pool.

The following example demonstrates querying V_MONITOR.SESSIONS to find the memory allocated to JVMs by all sessions. It also demonstrates how the memory is allocated by a call to a Java UDx, and then freed by calling RELEASE_JVM_MEMORY.

 user_name | external_memory_kb
 dbadmin   |             0
(1 row)

=> -- Call a Java UDx
=> SELECT add2ints(123,456);
(1 row)
=> -- JVM is now running and memory is allocated to it.
 dbadmin   |         79705
(1 row)

=> -- Shut down the JVM and deallocate memory
 Java process killed and memory released
(1 row)

 dbadmin   |             0
(1 row)

In rare cases, you may need to close all JVMs. For example, you may need to free memory for an important query, or several instances of a Java UDx may be taking too long to complete. You can use the RELEASE_ALL_JVM_MEMORY to close all of the JVMs in all user sessions:

 ExampleUser |         79705
 dbadmin     |         79705
(2 rows)

 Close all JVM sessions command sent. Check v_monitor.sessions for progress.
(1 row)

 dbadmin   |             0
(1 row)


  • The jvm resource pool is used only to allocate memory for the Java UDx function calls in a statement. The rest of the resources required by the SQL statement come from other memory pools.

  • The first time a Java UDx is called, Vertica starts a JVM to execute some Java methods to get metadata about the UDx during the query planning phase. The memory for this JVM is also taken from the jvm memory pool.