Robert F. Berry’`s career with IBM began in 1987 at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York. Since then he has contributed to many systems’ performance activities, including AIX, OS/2, Windows NT, JavaOS and Linux. He is presently at the IBM Java Technology Centre, Hursley, UK, where he is responsible for the per formance of IBM’s Java Virtual Machine implementations. Dr. Berry received his Ph. D. in computer sciences from The University of Texas a t Austin in 1983. He was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology in 1999, and was appointed IBM Distinguished Engineer in 2000.

The goal of high performance has been a fertile ground for JVM innovation from the very beginnings of Java. With the JVM underpinning more and more middleware solutions, new areas of JVM behaviour emerge as interesting ground for improvement. For example, Web Services workloads uniquely drive JVM behaviour with heavy demands for XML parsing. Dynamic memory management remains a very exciting area continuing to challenge garbage collection and allocation experts; also, 64-bit JVMs both magnify the challenge and introduce the prospect of applications that will push us even further into new areas. Aspects of the Java language heretofore ignored by established Java benchmarks will emerge as important and in need of attention – e.g., Big Decimal. Finally, the new focus on autonomic computing has particularly interesting implications for performance; self-measurement and awareness already flavours much performance related optimisation and adaptive behaviour. Can we leverage this experience to deliver still more adaptive JVMs to solve real problems?