January 29, 2002
Understand, Diagnose, and Resolve: O'Reilly Releases the Windows 2000 Performance Guide
Sebastopol, CA--As most systems administrators can attest to, computer
performance is often linked closely with human productivity. This
provides administrators with a strong economic incentive, if no other,
to ensure that their systems are performing optimally. Although the
definition of "good" performance is often vague, systems that provide
fast, consistent response time are generally more acceptable to the
people who use them, explain Mark Friedman and Odysseas Pentakalos,
coauthors of the just-released
Performance Guide (O'Reilly, US $44.95). On the other
hand, systems with severe
performance problems are often rejected outright by their users and
fail, leading to costly delays, expensive rewrites, and loss of
productivity. For computer performance analysts then, the task is
finding out what it takes to turn "bad" performance into "good"
"In survey after survey that I have looked at, systems performance is
always a significant concern," says Friedman, "Where performance
counts, however, is when Windows 2000 is deployed as a critical part of
'mission-critical' applications--as a web server, for messaging
(email), as a database server, etc. And this is happening on a more
frequent basis today than ever before."
Windows 2000 Performance Guide explains how Windows 2000 and the
various hardware components associated with it work, how to tell when
the performance of an application running under Windows 2000 is not
optimal, and what can be done about it. Friedman and Pentakalos focus
on practical problem solving, with an emphasis on understanding and
interpreting performance measurement data. The book includes
information on processor performance, application profiling and
hardware considerations, multiprocessing, memory and paging, file
cache, disk performance, networking, and IIS.
"Most performance tuning books focus on teaching tips and heuristics on
how to tune the performance of a system," coauthor Pentakalos says.
"Those tips may or may not apply to everyone's situation given the wide
variety of configuration options available. One thing that sets our
book apart from other performance tuning books is that we focus first
on explaining to the reader how each component of the system works. We
then lead them through the performance tuning effort with lots of
examples that include measurements from real systems."
"I perceived a need for this type of book in my work with Windows
NT/2000 performance monitoring," Friedman adds. "Good books on Windows
2000 internals for developers and general books on Windows 2000
performance for system administrators exist. But a good book that
starts with what we know about the way Windows 2000 works, but then
explores hands-on empirical data showing Windows 2000 systems in
operation was not available from any source."
Windows 2000 Performance Guide is aimed at a variety of computer
systems professionals, from system administrators who have mastered the
basics of installing and maintaining Windows 2000 servers and
workstations, to developers who are trying to build high-performance
applications for this platform. System administrators will learn what
performance data is available that bears on a specific performance
problem and understand how to interpret it so that they can resolve
that problem. Developers will understand how to build applications for
the Windows 2000 platform that perform and scale better.
"Microsoft has done a wonderful job of making a very complex piece of
software look very simple, and be simple to get up and running,"
Friedman says. "Under the covers, however, Windows 2000 is anything but
simple. When the inevitable performance problems arise, computer
professionals need to have the information in the book to understand,
diagnose, and resolve the common problems on these systems."
What critics have said about Windows 2000 Performance Guide:
This book balances the presentation of complex performance issues
between clear explanations of the underlying theory and useful insights
of practical application. As chief scientist for DevelopNET
Corporation, I see this book as an extremely valuable reference for our
Windows products development staff. It provides both the overall
explanations of why they should care about performance and the detailed
explanations of how the implementation of different aspects of the
operating system affects performance.
As an adjunct professor of computer science at two local universities,
I see this book as an excellent companion text in the operating systems
and performance courses I teach. It provides the bridge between the
theoretical discussions of operating systems internals and the
trade-offs of a practical implementation that is missing for most
books. The authors have pulled together many different topics at many
different levels and tied them together such that the reader sees the
interrelationships without having to become an expert in all of the
--Dr. Tim R. Norton, Chief Scientist, DevelopNET Corporation
2000 Performance Guide
By Mark Friedman and Odysseas Pentakalos
ISBN 0-56592-466-5, 700 pages, $44.95 (US), $67.95 (CAN)
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