This article demonstrates a quick and easy approximation for the probability formulae which I described in two previous articles. Continue reading “The Tail at Scale Approximation”
Category: System Performance
The Tail at Scale Revisited
My last article discussed some of the missing math related to setting back-end objectives. This article presents a chart which is useful in understanding the relationship to the user experience and we examine ways to dramatically improve the overall performance. Continue reading “The Tail at Scale Revisited”
The Tail at Scale
The landmark “Tail at Scale” article was missing some of the math. We’re diving into it a bit here to show how the math can be used in setting objectives for latency budgets in back end systems. Continue reading “The Tail at Scale”
BPF Performance Tools
BPF is one of the Swiss Army Knife tools for Performance Engineering on Linux. Continue reading “BPF Performance Tools”
Reading Week #4
Monitoring the SRE Golden Signals, an excellent overview by Steve Mushero.. Continue reading “Reading Week #4”
Reading Week #2
First of all, Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, Happy Holidays if you don’t! This week’s interesting read is about a subject I love.. Continue reading “Reading Week #2”
Realtime Component Request Deficit
Looking for help naming (and finding other uses for) a novel technique in detecting grey failures. Possible use cases are discussed here: load balancing, finding saturation points, alerting.. [ed. Decided on the name “Saturation Factor“.] Continue reading “Realtime Component Request Deficit”
There’s Always a Problem
Do you have insatiable curiosity and are driven by a relentless pursuit of the truth? You might make a great problem solver, but be careful how you deal with your findings! Continue reading “There’s Always a Problem”
Look Up the Stack!
If you’ve been around systems long enough, you know that opportunity for performance gains goes up dramatically, the further up the stack you look.. Continue reading “Look Up the Stack!”
(Ab)use of the R Language
For years I’ve done most of my log scraping and analysis with the usual suspects; bash, sed, awk, perl even. The log scraping still uses those tools, but lately I’ve been toying around with “R” for the analysis. Continue reading “(Ab)use of the R Language”
Averages Mostly Suck at Almost Everything..
..unless you’re dealing with baseball. When dealing with systems, many of us think “Average” is a measure of “Typical” or “Normal“. Many systems people will also use averages to look for “Abnormal“. However, average (or mean) doesn’t represent either “normal” or “abnormal” very well.. Continue reading “Averages Mostly Suck at Almost Everything..”
WSMeter: Performance Evaluation for Warehouse-Scale Computers
Many of us have dealt with making changes in production environments, possibly against hundreds or thousands of systems and, we’d like to know how the change impacted performance. It was with this in mind that I eagerly read through the paper describing WSMeter. Continue reading “WSMeter: Performance Evaluation for Warehouse-Scale Computers”
Shades of Grey
System failures are often not black and white, but shades of grey (gray?)..
Detecting and alerting on “performance-challenged” system components are a lot more difficult than detecting black or white (catastrophic failures). The metrics used are usually of the “time vs. latency” or “time vs. event count” variety, often aggregated and, often by using averages. All of these tend to obscure what we are looking for and have a very low “signal to noise ratio“.