The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis : Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling

Author: R. K. Jain
List Price: $95.00
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ISBN: 0471503363
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (April, 1991)
Edition: Hardcover
Sales Rank: 80,536
Average Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
Solid book.
I'm a performance analyst. I couldn't do my job properly without this book. It really is that simple.


Rating: 5 out of 5
a classic text..
This is an absolute gem. I really think that this book must be read by every CS/EE engineer. Performance analysis is always something that comes as an afterthought and engineers think that some some "mathematical" guy called a perf analyst will stop by after the product is completed and analyze the product. This is def wrong. PA should be done at every stage of production.

This book has been written assuming a novice reader. Several parts of the book have to re-read to really understand what the author is trying to convey, but trust me you will really appreciate it.

I suggest reading the following parts of the book(in order):

Part I (whole)
Part II (4, 5, 6, browse {7,8}, 9, 10 ) 10 is cool stuff..impress your peers with this
Part III (whole) read, re-read, re-read till you have digested every line..worth it really!!!!
Part IV (whole) read, re-read, re-read till you have digested every line..worth it really!!!!
Part V : You can skip this if you are not into simulation.
Part VI : Not really that easy to follow. I suggest Gunter's book for this.


Rating: 5 out of 5
Lays the foundation
This seminal book was the most complete mainstream text on the subject when it was first published in 1991. The reason it remains popular eleven years later (which is an extraordinary life for a computer book) is because it's an applied mathematics book that focuses solely on performance analysis, simulation and measurements. Technology may change at a rapid pace, but the techniques for measuring it do not.

The book is broken into six parts consisting of 36 chapters and ten appendices. Part I is an overview of performance evaluation. I liked the chapter on common mistakes and how to avoid them, and the guidelines for selecting techniques and metrics.

Measurement techniques and tools are the focus of Part II. the eight chapters in this part address the full spectrum, including workload types, characterization techniques, capacity planning and benchmarking, and data presentation. Most of the chapters are generic enough to be timeless. The chapters covering execution monitors and accounting logs are showing their age, but the concepts are still valid. I especially liked the chapters about data presentation and ratios.

Part III is a refresher in statistics and probability, and can safely be skipped if your knowledge and skills are fresh. Part IV delves into experimental design and analysis, while Part V covers simulations. The remaining six chapters of the book, Part VI, are devoted to queuing models.

Note that although the math is clearly explained you need college level skills in order to fully comprehend the techniques presented. I recommend investing in MathCAD or a similar program to make it easy to work the exercises that end each chapter.

This book is one of the handful that will be on your bookshelf for years to come. It's probably one of the most frequently referenced works in the performance analysis, resource management and capacity planning knowledge domains. Because it has well designed exercises at the end of each chapter it's also well suited as an advanced college level text. In my opinion it's essential reading for performance and capacity analysts, and provides an excellent foundation for more specialized books, such as those by Menasce and Almeida, that address topics such as e-commerce performance, web services, etc.

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