Statistical Process Control Techniques in Performance Monitoring and Alerting

Being focused on the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2010 for the past six months or so, I, unfortunately, have been neglecting to blog about it. Before I get back to the series of blog posts I started about writing in parallel programming, I thought I’d first answer the mail.   Concerning a recent presentation…

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Are we taking advantage of Parallelism?

Recently, a colleague of mine, Mark Friedman, posted a blog titled “Parallel Scalability Isn’t Child’s Play” in which he reviewed the merits of Amdahl Law vs. Gunther’s Law for determining the practical limits to parallelization. I would not argue with the premise of Mark’s blog that Parallelism is not child’s play. However, I do have…

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PDC2008 preConference Workshop

Over the past several weeks, I have been working overtime developing a presentation on web application performance to be given at the upcoming Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC), which is next week in Los Angeles. This is partly why I have been remiss about blogging this month. At least, that is my excuse, and I am…

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Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack: Final Thoughts

This is a continuation of Part IV of this article posted here.  Note that a final version of a white paper tying this series of five blog entries together (and a Powerpoint presentation on the subject) are attached. For many years, the effort to improve network performance on Windows and other platforms focused on reducing…

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Mainstream NUMA & the TCP/IP stack: Part 2: Programming ccNUMA machines

This is a continuation of Part I of this article posted here. In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the capacity issues that are driving architectural changes in the TCP/IP networking stack. While network interfaces are increasing in throughput capacity, processor speeds in the multi-core era are not keeping pace. Meanwhile, the TCP/IP…

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Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack: Part I.

One of the intriguing aspects of the onset of the many-core processor era is the necessity of using parallel programming techniques to reap the performance benefits of this and future generations of processor chips. Instead of significantly faster processors, we are getting more of them packaged on a single chip. To build the cost-effective mid-range…


Introduction to Control Theory and Its Application to Computing Systems

Our DDPE colleague Joe Hellerstein, along with Tarek Abdelzaher (University of Illinois), Yixin Diao (IBM), Chenyang Lu (Washington University), and Xiaoyun Zhu (HP), is presenting a seminar this week at ACM Sigmetrics.   The session Abstract follows:   Abstract.  Feedback control is central to managing computing systems and networks. For example, feedback is employed to…


Visual Studio Performance Testing — Noise is Enemy #1

Performance testing is essential to our quest to make Visual Studio provide a highly responsive user experience. We do performance testing early and often. Before a new feature is checked into the main branch, a test build is created, and 100 to 200 tests are run to assess performance. These tests include scenarios for start-up,…