Shortly after I completed my last post on Dell Performance Monitoring, Bob Wescott contacted me to see if I could mention his book on performance monitoring here. Sure I said, but rather than a a straight-out Ad, I would do a mini review of the book to give my thoughts on it.
I purchased the book The Every Computer Performance Book by Bob Wescott in iTunes for a reasonable price $9.99 AUD. This was after looking at some Sample Chapters that Bob has provided.
The thing that immediately made an impact with me was that this eBook has been written for tablets. It’s not a page-by-page turning book at all, with each chapter being scrollable, and the graphics actually fitting in and around the text unlike many other eBooks I have which started their life in dead tree edition.
The book itself covers many facets of computer performance, including the underlying concepts of performance theory, understanding the tools you are using, how to approach a performance issue which then leads into Performance monitoring, modelling, load testing and capacity planning and finishes up with how to present your results to management.
With my recent experiences, I immediately skipped to the load testing chapter and it soon became apparent that my earlier concerns that my “performance testing” was superficial at best were vindicated. In the limited time and resources that I had available for the testing, a number of facets were overlooked such as the type of load tests I was doing and understanding the load to emulate. Many of Bob’s rules in Chapter 9 also resonated with me following my recent experiences.
I think it is also fair to say I skipped through chunks of the chapter too – having been in the industry this long, some of the concepts in the book I am already quite familiar with.
The book itself is an excellent read for those who have not had the (dis)pleasure of being requested to investigate performance. As Bob himself says, this is not about difficult maths or hard to grasp concepts. More importantly, the book help system administrators who do not normally investigate less-obvious performance issues come up with a methodical approach to troubleshooting rather than an ad-hoc “lets change this and see what happens” approach.
After reading this book, I know I’ll certainly be approaching computer performance management in a different way, particularly the “Our server is running slow” type scenarios.
To finish up, I would say that if you have any interest in computer performance, performance benchmarking and performance troubleshooting but it’s not your daily job, this book would be a very useful reference in putting together a concise plan to proceed with handling the issue at hand. This is a book worth having.
The Every Computer Performance Book by Bob Wescott is available in Digital and Print Editions. More information can be found the Treewhimsy Website.