The purpose of this book is to introduce the reader to computer performance analysis in a straightforward style that is also applicable to large-scale distributed systems, such as web sites and data centers. It demystifies the complex underlying formulas, and shows how to apply performance analysis to all kinds of large-scale computer systems, including client/server and communications systems. At the heart of this book is a unique methodology called performance-by-design. Timeless and independent of any specific technology, it is a tested approach for ensuring that goals are set and met. The emphasis is on assessing overall performance in large-scale systems, not just tuning one particular hardware subsystem or software compoenet. The chief tool supporting this methodology is the queueing analyzer, the C source code of which is provided on the accompanying diskette. This tool enables you to bypass such arcane concerns as the mathematics of queueing theory, and cut right to the real-world chase. Written in a friendly, intuitive style, this book will help you master performance analysis and apply it at either end of the development cycle: to support decisions in the early stages of system design, or to evaluate your existing system.
Neil Gunther, M.Sc., Ph.D., SMACM, SMIEEE is an internationally known research scientist specializing in computer system performance and capacity management. Prior to starting his own company (www.perfdynamics.com) in 1994, Neil worked on the NASA Voyager and Galileo missions, the Xerox PARC Dragon office computer, and the Pyramid/Siemens RM1000. He is a consultant to Fortune 500 company data centers where he has developed important industry scalability tools such his Universal Scalability Law and the PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick) performance analyzer. Neil has also authored other books including: *Guerrilla Capacity Planning* and the 2nd edition of *Analyzing Computer System Performance with Perl::PDQ* and he conducts his Guerrilla training classes based on these books. In 2008, Dr. Gunther received the prestigious A.A. Michelson Award.