[security-dev] Picketbox performance improvements

Stefan Guilhen sguilhen at redhat.com
Thu Sep 5 09:47:27 EDT 2013

Hi Stuart,

I've applied your changes and they will be available once we upgrade 
PicketBox, which should happen soon. I do believe that this heavy usage 
of reflection is overkill since most of the time the default 
SecurityContext implementation is used. I've never heard of a case where 
this implemenation has been changed. So I'm wondering if we couldn't 
just make sure that whenever the default context is being used we 
instantiate it by calling new JBossSecurityContext(securityDomain) and 
use the reflection stuff only if the caller really supplies a different 
implementation class.


On 09/05/2013 06:41 AM, Stuart Douglas wrote:
> Oops, just realised I missed that the same thing was happening with the SecurityContextUtil class.
> With this patch, and my recently merged SecurityContextAssociationValve patch, I have seen a >20% increase in performance of an empty web application (28k req/sec vs 23k req/sec).
> Stuart
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Anil Saldhana" <Anil.Saldhana at redhat.com>
>> To: "Stuart Douglas" <sdouglas at redhat.com>
>> Cc: security-dev at lists.jboss.org, "Andrig Miller" <anmiller at redhat.com>
>> Sent: Wednesday, 4 September, 2013 3:47:47 PM
>> Subject: Re: [security-dev] Picketbox performance improvements
>> Hi Stuart,
>>     it will be a couple of days to upgrade. There are other fixes going
>> into the upgrade.
>> Regards,
>> Anil
>> On 09/04/2013 04:31 AM, Stuart Douglas wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I have been benchmarking Wildfly upstream, and with the exception of the
>>> Weld listener (that I am about to try and fix), I am seeing the creation
>>> of the security context as by far the most expensive part of the web
>>> request chain.
>>> Firstly a bit about the tests, basically it is possible to run Undertow in
>>> pipelining mode, where if you send it pipelined HTTP requests it will
>>> buffer the responses and batch them. This is not super useful in practice,
>>> but what it does allow me to do is basically take most of the IO component
>>> out of a web request, and just look at which bits of the web request chain
>>> are consuming the most CPU.
>>> The issues I am seeing are:
>>> - Some unnecessary AccessController.doPrivilidged calls
>>> - A reflection call on every request to lookup the constructor of the
>>> security context class
>>> I have provided a patch to address both of these, by adding a guard around
>>> the AccessController calls, and by caching the constructor used for the
>>> default security context class. I think it may even be worthwhile taking
>>> this one step further, and using generated bytecode to create the class.
>>> Normally I would consider this overkill but security context creation
>>> happens on every request, so if we are serious about performance we should
>>> be trying to make it as cheap as possible.
>>> To give you an idea of how much this affects the total cost of the Servlet
>>> pipeline:
>>> Current WF upstream (without Weld): 134k req/sec
>>> After removing the AccessController calls: 158k req/sec
>>> Adding constructor caching: 171k req/sec
>>> Note that the speedup will not be as big for more realistic workloads,
>>> however it will still be significant.
>>> Stuart
>> _______________________________________________
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