Benchmarks, Performance, Scalability, and Capacity: What's Behind the Numbers?

Baron Schwartz (VividCortex Inc)
Operations Ballroom ABCD
Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials.
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If you’ve read “How to Lie with Statistics,” are you immune to numerical tricks? Not a session for math geeks, this tutorial is instead about how to determine what matters and what doesn’t, how to see what’s missing as well as what you’re shown, and how to turn numbers into knowledge. Topics include:

  • Linear scalability: is it really? What does linear mean, anyway?
  • What’s wrong with how most benchmarks are reported, and what vital information are you not given?
  • What’s the relationship between storage fragmentation and Amdahl’s Law?
  • Your database is slow; what’s the fix? Faster disks? More memory? SSDs? A different database?
  • What’s your system’s maximum capacity? (Hint: what does capacity mean?)
  • Which is faster: a RAID10 with 10 EBS volumes, or one with 20 disks?

It turns out that we fool ourselves all the time, even when nobody is trying to fool us. This session explains how to think clearly about performance-related decisions when numbers and charts start to proliferate.

Photo of Baron Schwartz

Baron Schwartz

VividCortex Inc

Baron is co-founder and CTO of VividCortex, a provider of SaaS database administration tools. He is the lead author of High Performance MySQL and continues to research and publish under the O’Reilly imprint. He has created several open-source software tools, including Maatkit, and has authored features for MySQL and InnoDB. He is an Oracle ACE, and the founder of the worldwide OpenSQL Camp conference series. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. Baron lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his family.

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