MS Bond and Chiron benchmarked

DISCLAIMER : as always, you should bench­mark against your pay­load and use case, the bench­mark num­bers I have pro­duced here is unlikely to be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of your use cases and nei­ther is any­body else’s bench­mark numbers.

You can use the sim­ple test har­ness I cre­ated and see these exam­ple code to bench­mark against your par­tic­u­lar payload.

 

I updated my binary and JSON serializers benchmark earlier this week, and got some feedbacks on new serializers that I have missed, namely Chiron and Microsoft’s Bond. Here, we’ll have a look how the two fared in the benchmark.

 

MS Bond

Microsoft announced their answer to Google’s Protocol Buffer with Bond this time last year (Jan 2015). Finally I’ve got around to actually test it out (after an ex-Gamesys colleague commented on the last update – thanks Rob!).

First, you define you contract with a .bond file (see tutorial here), for example…

bond_benchmark_03

Now you run the Bond compiler tool, gbc, against this file to generate a C# class that looks like this…

bond_benchmark_04

To serialize and deserialize data, you also need to add the Bond C# nuget package to your project and follow the examples in the aforementioned tutorial.

Here’s how Bond fared against other binary serializers on my list.

NOTE: there’s an updated benchmark test that uses a different initial buffer size which makes a huge difference in performance for Bond. Please read the linked post for more info.

bond_benchmark_01

bond_benchmark_02

The result makes for an interesting reading…

  • Bond produced the smallest payload, and is the fastest at deserializing the payload by some distance.
  • It is also the slowest at serializing the payload!

 

Chiron

I read about Chiron in Marcus Griep‘s F# advent post but then forgot about it (totally my bad… too many hours on Bloodborne over xmas, such an awesome game ).

Anyways, Chiron has a F#-friendly API but because it uses statically resolved type parameters you can’t use it from C#.

In order to serialize/deserialize a type, the type needs to define the static methods ToJson and FromJson. The inlined serialize and deserialize functions can then constraint your type to have those static members and invoke them in the corresponding function. I used the same technique in MBrace.AWS and honestly, I’m not happy with the amount of work this pushes onto the user, especially when they end up having to write uninteresting plumbing code…

On the API front, I’m not thrilled with the custom operators either, even though there are only 3 of them so I’m probably just over-reacting. In general I find custom operators get in the way of discovery.

Reading through the post, this paragraph suggests a lot of intermediate JsonResult<‘a> and Json objects are created during the serialization process. Whilst this might be an idiomatic functional approach, it’s also likely to hurt our performance..

The *> operator that we used in ToJson discards the JsonResult<'a> (which is only used when writing), but continues to build upon the Json object from the previous operation. By chaining these operations together, we build up the members of a Json.Object.

Unsurprisingly, the cost of immutability proved really costly under the benchmark.

chiron_benchmark_01

chiron_benchmark_02

 

So that’s it folks, another 2 serializers added to our stable. If there any other serializers that you think I should include here, please give me a shout and I’ll do my best to accommodate.

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