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Unix® and Linux® System Administration Handbook, Fourth Edition by Ben Whaley, Trent R. Hein, Garth Snyder, Evi Nemeth

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29. Performance Analysis

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Performance analysis and tuning are often likened to system administration witchcraft. They’re not really witchcraft, but they do qualify as both science and art. The “science” part involves making careful quantitative measurements and applying the scientific method. The “art” part relates to the need to balance resources in a practical, level-headed way, since optimizing for one application or user may result in other applications or users suffering. As with so many things in life, you may find that it’s impossible to make everyone happy.

A sentiment widespread in the blogosphere has it that today’s performance problems ...

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