8. Performance and Scalability

This chapter, the second about distributed systems principles, is about the principles that govern high performance and scalability in the context of commercial systems, especially transaction processing applications.

One of the extraordinary features of the modern IT industry is the ability of vendors to produce benchmark performance figures that seem to be in another dimension. For instance, back in 1999 a Unisys Aquanta ES2095R Intel server (eight Intel Pentium 550 MHz procs) was rated at 37,757.23 tpmC (tpmC means roughly the number of transactions per minute for the TPC-C benchmark. See www.tpc.org for a full explanation). Sustained for 5 hours, that’s roughly 11 million transactions, which is enough for a ...

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