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A Short History of Performance Engineering


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A Short History of Performance Engineering - presented as ignite session at Velocity NY 2013

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A Short History of Performance Engineering

  1. 1. Velocity NY A Short History of Performance Engineering Alexander Podelko @apodelko October 14, 2013 1
  2. 2. About Me  I have specialized in performance for the last 16 years  Currently performance testing and optimization of Hyperion products at Oracle  Board director at CMG, organization of performance and capacity professionals – Conference November 4-8, 2013 in La Jolla, CA Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my personal views only and do not necessarily represent those of my current or previous employers. All brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their owners. 2
  3. 3. There Was [Performance] Life Even Before Web  Some statements referring to history look incorrect  Performance engineering history is not well known – Not much information readily available  So I decided to share a few bits of information I know / found 3
  4. 4. The Approach  First mature appearances of still relevant performance notions – From what I found – No discussion about further rich history of each notion  My subjective choices based on very limited information 4
  5. 5. Computing Paradigms  Looks like a new wave of performance engineering starts 10+ years after new computing paradigm  Mainframes – Late 50s  Distributed Systems – Late 70s  Web – Mid 90s  ? – Mobile, Cloud 5
  6. 6. 1966: Instrumentation  1966 – SMF (System Management Facilities) released as part of OS/360 – Still in use Big Data ? Deep Diagnostics ? IT Operations Analytics ? 6
  7. 7. 1968: Response Times  1968 - Robert Miller (IBM) in his "Response Time in Man-Computer Conversational Transactions" paper described several threshold levels of human attention – Widely cited by many later researchers 7
  8. 8. 1974: Monitoring  1974 – RMF (Resource Measurement Facility) released as part of MVS – Still in use  1975 – OMEGAMON for MVS by Candle – Claimed to be the first real-time monitor – Acquired by IBM in 2004 8
  9. 9. 1975: Community  1975 – The Computer Measurement Group (CMG) was created, holding annual conferences since – Coming Performance and Capacity 2013 by CMG November 4-8 in La Jolla, CA – Proceedings available to public (1976-2010) 9
  10. 10. 1977: Performance Analysis Tool  1977 – BEST/1 was released by BGS Systems, capacity and performance management tool – the first commercial package for computer performance analysis to be based on analytic models. BGS Systems was acquired by BMC Software in 1998 10
  11. 11. Late 70s - Distributed Systems  Distributed Systems – Client/Server, Three-Tier, N-Tier, etc.  Less control, less instrumentation  More need for performance design and testing 11
  12. 12. 1990: Software Performance Engineering  1990 – Dr. Connie Smith's book Performance Engineering of Software Systems was published – 15 pages of bibliography "Fix-it-later was once a viable approach, but it is now inappropriate and dangerous" 12
  13. 13. Does It Remind You Anything?  Fix-it-later was a viable approach in the 1970s, but today the original promises no longer hold, and fix-it-later is archaic and dangerous. The original premises were: – Performance problems are rare. – Hardware is fast and inexpensive. – It's too expensive to build responsive software. – You can tune software later, if necessary. Performance Engineering of Software Systems, 1990. 13
  14. 14. 1991: Load Testing Tools  1991 – LoadRunner was released by Mercury Interactive – Acquired by HP in 2006 for $4.5B  Performance expertise moves to performance testing teams 14
  15. 15. 1998 ? – End-User Monitoring  1998 – ETEWatch released by Candle – Application response time monitor – End-to-End Watch – Candle acquired by IBM in 2004, then a part of Tivioli  Anybody know other EUM/RUM roots? 15
  16. 16. Mid 90s - Web Most of existing expertise from mainframe and distributed eras still applicable to back end  Books by D. Menasce and V. Almeida (1998, 2000, and 2001)  – Applying existing expertise to Web 16
  17. 17. 2007: Web Performance Optimization  2007 – Steve Souders' book High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers was published  New Web-specific expertise 17
  18. 18. 2008: WPO Community  2008 – First Velocity conference 18
  19. 19. Takeaways  Check your facts when you refer to history  A lot was done in the past – not always necessary to re-invent the wheel  The feeling that we are close to solving performance problems exists last 40+ years – Probably will stay with us for a while 19
  20. 20. Questions? Alexander Podelko @apodelko 20