Previous Section  < Day Day Up >  Next Section

Why Learn How to Use Performance Tools?

Why should anyone put effort into tuning a system or application?

  • A well-tuned system can do more work with fewer resources.

  • A well-tuned application can run on older hardware.

  • A well-tuned desktop can save users time.

  • A well-tuned server provides a higher service quality for more users.

If you know how to effectively diagnose performance problems, you can take a targeted approach to solving the problem instead of just taking a shot in the dark and hoping that it works. If you are an application developer, this means that you can quickly figure out what piece of code is causing the problem. If you are a system administrator, it means that you can figure out what part of the system needs to be tuned, or upgraded, without wasting time unsuccessfully trying different solutions. If you are an end user, you can figure out which applications are lagging and report the problem to the developers (or update your hardware, if necessary).

Linux has reached a crossroads. Most of the functionality for a highly productive system is already complete. The next evolutionary step is for Linux and its applications to be tuned to compete with and surpass the performance of other operating systems. Some of this performance optimization has already begun. For example, the SAMBA, Apache, and TUX Web server projects have, through significant time investments, tuned and optimized the system and code. Other performance optimizations—such as the Native POSIX Thread Library (NPTL), which dramatically improves threading performance; and object prelinking, which improves application startup time—are just starting to be integrated into Linux. Linux is ripe for performance improvements.

    Previous Section  < Day Day Up >  Next Section