The Vegas strip and Software Performance Engineering
Reflecting on the week of conversation, presentations and discussion from the Computer Measurement Group’s annual conference help during December 3rd thru the 7th in Las Vegas.
I attended a number of presentations on web performance and capacity planning. The topics ranged from Performance and capacity on the Cloud, to VMWare deep dives on the CPU behavior, a panel on how disruptive technologies still need performance engineering, load testing tips and techniques, performance challenges of Big Data and of course the Software Performance Engineering Body of Knowledge, and others.
These are typically deep dive discussions with solid examples you can take back with you. These are presented by the practitioners, the people who solved the problem and made it happen. Each year 100’s of people send in papers and presentations for consideration for the conference. There is a wonderful group of volunteers for each of the subject areas that review the papers and decide on who will be able to present. Then they provide coaches and mentors (all volunteers) to the presenters to help refine their presentations.
There was a “how-to” presentation on finding the critical path for the nightly batch process for a large application. There were over 1,000 jobs that ran during the cycle and the cycle was starting to run longer than the window. So, Chris (our presenter), walked us through using Microsoft Excel to help solve the problem. He created a process and a set of scripts to evaluate the run log and import them into excel to find the jobs that were in the critical path.
There was another presentation on how to measure the performance of the Browser, by creating the waterfall chart. This identified the critical path of the browser processing. One conference and two very different technologies. Very nice
The CMG is have been around for over 25 years, and continuous to adjust and adapt to the marketplace. There are many competing organizations today in the web performance and capacity planning market. They each have a focus area, I think the one strength the CMG has is that end to end focus on software performance. It is more than the browser, it is more than the database or the CICS region. The CMG is the one user driven organization that considered performance across the tiers. I think the one thing they could use right now is a solid marketing campaign to help get the word out.