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The Practical Performance Analyst Paperback – October 31, 2000


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The Practical Performance Analyst + The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling + Performance by Design: Computer Capacity Planning By Example
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (October 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059512674X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595126743
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

At last! Performance analysis made easy and applicable for large distributed systems. Here is a practical new perspective on performance analysis--one that makes this difficult subject understandable and useful. 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. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Neil J. Gunther was born in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Southampton, England, and began working in American's Silicon Valley at the dawn of the PC revolution. After eight years as a researcher at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he joint Pyramid Technology as a Senior Scientist and Manager of Performance Analysis. In 1994 he founded Computer Dynamics Consulting, advising such clients as Amdahl Corporation, Tandem Computers, and Demand Technology on performance tool development and planning strategies for large-scale computer systems. Dr. Gunther is also a developer of distributed performance management tools, worldwide lecturer, and author of more than 50 professional articles. He lives in Mountain View, California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Neil J. Gunther was born in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Southampton, England, and began working in America's Silicon Valley at the dawn of the PC revolution. After eight years as a researcher at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he joined Pyramid Technology as a Senior Scientist and Manager of Performance Analysis. In 1994 he founded Computer Dynamics Consulting, advising such clients as Amdahl Corporation, Tandem Computers, and Demand Technology on performance tool development and planning strategies for large-scale computer systems. Dr. Gunther is also a developer of distributed performance management tools, worldwide lecturer, and author of more than 50 professional articles. He lives in Mountain View, California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Ken Christensen on September 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If understanding and managing computer systems performance is in your job description and you can only buy two books, this is one of the two (the other is Raj Jain's, "The Art of Computer Systems Performance..."). Neil Gunther's book is not just another tome on queueing theory. Immediately useful methods and formulas are presented in the context of real problems. The two chapters on instability in systems and scaling of multiprocessor systems alone make the book worth its price. Readers need to know that there is some math in the book (there is just no escaping it) and that some of the cited vendor products are becoming dated. The Web site associated with the book contains many items of current interest, an errata sheet correcting minor errors in the book, and downloadable programs related to performance evaluation.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book's full value will be realized if you understand the C programming language (he uses source code it illustrate points throughout the book and provides a C library for performance analysis on the accompanying disk), anyone with good math skills will gain much from this outstanding book.
The core approach is Performance By Design, which is aligned to product development. His approach, if used properly, will ensure that performance goals are established in the design phase, and are met as a system or software evolves through the development life cycle.
Highlights of the book are:
(1) Through introduction to the foundation of performance: queuing, parallelism and multiprocessor systems.
(2) Coverage of contemporary issues, such as client/server and web system performance,
(3) Unexpected forays into performance characteristics and considerations that I've encountered in no other book. For example, Part 3 of this book addresses subtle issues such as transient analysis, scaling behavior and similar topics. Here the author integrates theoretical physics into performance analysis - while this may seem odd, it only reinforces that much can be added to the performance analysis body of knowledge by drawing from sources outside of computer science. His qualifications for this material includes a Ph.D in theoretical physics, and his ability to clearly explain concepts that are foreign to the average computer scientist or performance practitioner is excellent.
I like the conversation style that the author employs, the way he starts with the basics and builds upon them and the thoroughness in which all aspects of performance are discussed. More importantly, although advanced math concepts are introduced the way they are presented can be understood by anyone with high school or college freshman knowledge of probability and calculus.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The book is well written and "user friendly". As Dr. Gunther said during a class I recently attended which is based on this book, "You will not look at performance analysis the same after taking class." -- or reading the book. He was correct ... I don't. My views have changed for the better.
The only mark against the book I have is it doesn't have an example section (with answers for each example as an appendix) at the end of each chapter to help people apply the concepts they learned reading the chapter.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Very readable and highly useful book. One major hit. It is ironic that the author complains about the symbols in other books. For queueing he invents his own, instead of sticking with standard practices. This is very fustrating to readers that have other books on queueing and need to compare.
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