Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Response Time Percentiles for Multi-server Applications

In a previous post, I applied my rules-of-thumb for response time (RT) percentiles (or more accurately, residence time in queueing theory parlance), viz., 80th percentile: $R_{80}$, 90th percentile: $R_{90}$ and 95th percentile: $R_{95}$ to a cellphone application and found that the performance measurements were not completely consistent. Since the relevant data only appeared in a journal blog, I didn't have enough information to resolve the discrepancy; which is ok. The first job of the performance analyst is to flag performance anomalies but most probably let others resolve them—after all, I didn't build the system or collect the measurements.

More importantly, that analysis was for a single server application (viz., time-to-first-fix latency). At the end of my post, I hinted at adding percentiles to PDQ for multi-server applications. Here, I present the corresponding rules-of-thumb for the more ubiquitous multi-server or multi-core case.

Single-server Percentiles

First, let's summarize the Guerrilla rules-of-thumb for single-server percentiles (M/M/1 in queueing parlance): \begin{align} R_{1,80} &\simeq \dfrac{5}{3} \, R_{1} \label{eqn:mm1r80}\\ R_{1,90} &\simeq \dfrac{7}{3} \, R_{1}\\ R_{1,95} &\simeq \dfrac{9}{3} \, R_{1} \label{eqn:mm1r95} \end{align} where $R_{1}$ is the statistical mean of the measured or calculated RT and $\simeq$ denotes approximately equal. A useful mnemonic device is to notice the numerical pattern for the fractions. All denominators are 3 and the numerators are successive odd numbers starting with 5.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Guerrilla Training Schedule for 2014

With the newfound popularity of smaller sessions that offer highly personalized tuition—along the lines of the Oxbridge system—all of the 2014 Guerrilla classes held in California will be limited to a maximum of 6 students. Overflow will go onto a waiting list for the equivalent class that will be held on a date to be determined. Waitees will be notified accordingly. So book early, book often!