WebSphere Peformance - Alexandre Polozoff's Point of View
With WebSphere Application Server v8 the IBM JRE provides a new garbage collection policy known as balanced. One should consider trying the balanced policy if running on the 64-bit JVM using a Java heap size over 4GB and still experiencing occasional long pauses with the gencon policy. It does impose a slight performance hit but based on how some applications are written or coded it may be necessary for the runtime operations team to try this policy in an attempt to avoid large pause times. The balanced policy can also take advantage of non-uniform memory access (NUMA) hardware architecture available on System x® and System p® using current versions of AIX®, Linux® or Windows®.
For as long as I can remember the most debated Java topic has been the difference in opinion on the heap size minimum = maximum with lots of urban myths and legends that having them equal was better. In a conversation with a number of colleagues and Chris Bailey who has lead the Java platform for many years he clarified the settings for the IBM JVM based on generational vs non-generational policy settings.
"The guidance [for generational garbage collection policy] is that you should fix the nursery size: -Xmns == -Xmnx, and allow the tenured heap to vary: -Xmos != -Xmox. For non generational you only have a tenured heap, so -Xms != -Xmx applies.
A link to Chris Bailey's presentation on generational garbage collection http://www.slideshare.net/cnbailey/tuning-ibms-generational-gc-14062096
[edit to correct typo, added tags]