Chapter 1

What Is Performance?


In this book, we will look at the often misunderstood, often neglected topic of computer performance—what it is, what is good and bad performance, and what factors affect the performance of a computer system or systems. The subject of queues is central to understanding the subject of performance, so we will spend some time covering this, but only at a high level. We shall also examine the value of relying too heavily on queuing theory in performance matters, especially prediction via models.

We will examine the performance characteristics of computer systems and networks, the “glue” between systems, which can have a marked effect on the performance of online applications, especially those that involve ...

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