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Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud by Brendan Gregg

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1. Introduction

Performance is an exciting, varied, and challenging discipline. This chapter introduces you to the field of performance, specifically systems performance, describing roles, activities, perspectives, and challenges. It also introduces latency, an essential performance metric, and some newer developments in computing: dynamic tracing and cloud computing. Examples of performance activities are also included, to provide context.

1.1. Systems Performance

Systems performance is the study of the entire system, including all physical components and the full software stack. Anything in the data path, software or hardware, is included, as it can affect performance. For distributed systems, this means multiple servers and applications. ...

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