Monday, June 29, 2009

PDQ 5.0 Test Suite or ... How I Spent My Weekend

I was planning to blog about the amazing time I had at Velocity 2009 last week, when this landed in my mailbox (edited for space and privacy):

Subject: Seeking help with PDQ-R ...
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 15:51:21 -0500

My name is James and I've been trying to learn to properly use PDQ after reading two of your books, "Guerrilla Capacity Planning" and "Analyzing Computer System Performance with Perl::PDQ." I'm still getting a grip on PDQ-R. ... I decided to set about of re-creating the queue circuit in the study with PDQ-R as an exercise. ...
The output of my code yields:
[1] "Manual response time for class 1 is 0.864179 seconds"
[1] "PDQ-R response time for class 1 is 0.313637 seconds"
[1] "Manual response time for class 2 is 6.105397 seconds"
[1] "PDQ-R response time for class 2 is 3.552873 seconds"
[1] "Manual response time for class 3 is 4.535833 seconds"
[1] "PDQ-R response time for class 3 is 4.535833 seconds"
If you could give my code a look over and give me some hints I would really appreciate it.

August Guerrilla Class: Using R for Performance Analysis

Registrations are still open for the Guerrilla Data Analysis Techniques (GDAT) class being held August 10-14, 2009. The focus will be on using R and the new release of PDQ-R for performance analysis and capacity planning.

All Guerrilla classes are held at our Larkspur Landing location in Pleasanton, California; a 45-minute BART ride to downtown San Francisco.

(Click on the image for details)

For those of you coming from international locations, here is a table of currency EXCHANGE rates. We look forward to seeing all of you in August!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ignite! Velocity (San Jose): I'm Stoked!

Just found this in my e-mailbox
PLEASE READ: Ignite @ Velocity
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 1:41 PM

You are accepted to speak at Ignite Velocity.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bridges, Booms, Busts, Banks, Bailouts, ... Who Needs Capacity Planning?

Given that Wall Street management has proven once again that there are black swans; this time on a global scale, why would anyone be crazy enough to contemplate capacity management in the middle of such a mess?

See what Wall Street IT managers Simple CIO and Sal Viati have to say about it in "Let the Bridge Fall—As Long as It Falls on Time" (with apologies to Galileo).

"The commonly held idea that it's cheaper to over-engineer the hardware architecture to ensure adequate capacity is patently false. Here's the simple counter-example. If performance testing is skipped in order to meet the release schedule (and who knows if that's really valid?), and the deployed application ends up running single-threaded with lousy performance, a boat-load of the cheapest servers from China won't improve that."


"The bottom line is not really new. The sagacity of looking beyond the end of your nose is a truism, but incredibly that truth has been lost in the irrational exuberance of false Wall Street economics. A robust economy and IT customer satisfaction both come from foresight, not just eyesight. In fact, it's the second word in capacity planning.

Lest you think I'm being too hard on Wall St., listen to Peter Day of the BBC interviewing Philip Delves-Broughton about his new book entitled, What They Teach You at Harvard Business School: My Two Years in the Cauldron of Capitalism. Some points to listen for:
  • MBAs are not taught to get their hands dirty with such sleazy activities as sales. That's sales as in: salesforce, sales people, the Fuller Brush Man.
  • Neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates have an MBA.
  • Too much devotion to spreadsheet calculations and powerpoint presentations. This is why Robert McNamara (Harvard MBA) mis-managed the Vietnam War. Too much faith in (manipulated) uncorroborated numbers.
  • Total disconnect between teaching abstract business models and the business of business which is, err... like... selling stuff.
  • These are the people running things! (Let's read that again)
  • The Economist rankings: French model beats Anglo-Saxon model (of which Wall St. is obviously a subset).
Update (Tue, Jun 9, 2009): George Soros (hedge-funder extraordinaire) estimates this black swan could be 3-5 times bigger than the one seen in 1929. Update (Wed, Jun 10, 2009): Nobel economist, Joseph Stiglitz, slams Wall St. for tarnishing the reputation of American-style capitalism, which may pose new threats to global stability and U.S. security. Update (Mon, Jul 20, 2009): Associate director of M.I.T. Media Lab considers institutional monocultures in his Boston Globe op-ed piece: "What can failures teach us?"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Data + Models == Insight

Al Bundy, of the TV show Married with Children, understood it and performance engineers should too. What am I talking about? The theme music for that show is the tune "Love and Marriage" as sung by Frank Sinatra. Just like the song says about love and marriage, so it is with measurements and models ... You can't have one without the other.