Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Generate Exponential Delays

This question arose while addressing Comments on a previous blog post about exponentially distributed delays. One of my ongoing complaints is that many, if not most, popular load-test generation tools do not provide exponential variates as part of a library of time delays or think-time distributions. Not only is this situation bizarre, given that all load tests are actually performance models (and who doesn't love an exponential distribution in their performance models?), but without the exponential distribution you are less likely to observe such things as buffer overflow conditons due to larger than normal (or uniform) queueing fluctuations. Exponential delays are both simple and useful for that purpose, but we are often left to roll our own code and then debug it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Plan for Capacity Planning Training in May

Bookings are open for both Guerrilla Boot Camp (GBoot) and Guerrilla Capacity Planning (GCaP) classes in May 2012 at the Early Bird rate.

Entrance Larkspur Landing hotel Pleasanton California

As usual, classes will be held at our lovely Larkspur Landing location. Click on the image for booking information.

Before registering, take a look at some highlights students contributed from previous Guerrilla classes:

You too can be part of that educational experience.

Attendees should bring their laptops, as course materials are provided on CD or flash drive. The venue also offers free wi-fi to the internet.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The SSD World Will End in 2024

So says the Non-Volatile Systems Lab at UC San Diego. The claim is, in order to achieve higher densities, flash manufacturers must sacrifice both read and write latencies. I haven't had time to explore this claim in any detail, but I thought it might be useful for you to know about it. Some highlights include:
  • They tested 45 different NAND flash chips from six vendors that ranged in size from 72 nm circuitry to the current 25nm technology.
  • They then took their test results and extrapolated them to the year 2024, when NAND flash development road maps show flash circuitry is expected to be only 6.5 nm in size. At that point, read/write latency is expected to increase by a factor of two or more.
  • They did not use specialized NAND flash controllers such as those used by Intel, OCZ or Fusion-io. Their results can be viewed as "optimistic" because they didn't include latency added through error correction or garbage collection algorithms.
  • Considering the diminishing returns on performance versus capacity, Grupp said, "it's not going to be viable to go past 6.5 nm ... 2024 is the end."

The technical paper entitled, The Bleak Future of NAND Flash Memory (PDF), was presented and published at the FAST'12 conference held in San Jose, CA on February 14—17, 2012.

Related post: Green Disk Sizing