Analyzing Computer System Performance with Perl::PDQ

  • 6h 31m
  • Neil J. Gunther
  • Springer
  • 2005
  • New chapters on queues, tools and virtualization
  • New Perl listing format to aid readability of PDQ models
  • Fully compatible with latest PDQ 5.0 software release
  • Crowd-sourced corrigenda to first edition has been included

To solve performance problems in modern computing infrastructures, often comprising thousands of servers running hundreds of applications, spanning multiple tiers, you need tools that go beyond mere reporting. You need tools that enable performance analysis of application workflow across the entire enterprise. That's what PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick) provides. PDQ is an open-source performance analyzer based on the paradigm of queues. Queues are ubiquitous in every computing environment as buffers, and since any application architecture can be represented as a circuit of queueing delays, PDQ is a natural fit for analyzing system performance.

Building on the success of the first edition, this considerably expanded second edition now comprises four parts. Part I contains the foundational concepts, as well as a new first chapter that explains the central role of queues in successful performance analysis. Part II provides the basics of queueing theory in a highly intelligible style for the non-mathematician; little more than high-school algebra being required. Part III presents many practical examples of how PDQ can be applied. The PDQ manual has been relegated to an appendix in Part IV, along with solutions to the exercises contained in each chapter.

Throughout, the Perl code listings have been newly formatted to improve readability.

About the Author

Neil Gunther, M.Sc., Ph.D. is a leading industry computer performance consultant who founded Performance Dynamics Company ( in 1994. Prior to that, Dr. Gunther held research and management positions at San Jose State University, JPL/NASA (Voyager and Galileo spacecraft), Xerox PARC research center and Pyramid/Siemens Technology. His performance and capacity planning classes have been presented at such organizations as Boeing, Fedex, Motorola, Stanford University, and Sun Microsystems.

Dr. Gunther is the author of over a hundred papers on computer performance topics, including "HIT-AND-RUN TACTICS ENABLE GUERRILLA CAPACITY PLANNING," published recently in IEEE IT Professional magazine. He has also written the book THE PRACTICAL PERFORMANCE ANALYST ( 2000). In 1996 he was awarded Best Technical Paper at CMG, and in 1997 was nominated for the A.A. Michelson Award. Dr. Gunther is a member of the AMS, ACM, CMG, IEEE, SAGE-AU, SIGMETRICS and USENIX.

In this Book

  • Time—The Zeroth Performance Metric
  • Getting the Jump on Queueing
  • Queueing Systems for Computer Systems
  • Linux Load Average—Take a Load Off!
  • Performance Bounds and Log Jams
  • Pretty Damn Quick (PDQ)—A Slow Introduction
  • Multicomputer Analysis with PDQ
  • How to Scale an Elephant with PDQ
  • Client/Server Analysis with PDQ
  • Web Application Analysis with PDQ
  • Bibliography