Monday, April 08, 2002

Performance & Scalability. I've been corresponding with Greg Barish, the author of Building Scalable and High-Performance Java Web Applications Using J2EE Technology (see my 4 April and Linda's 3 April reviews on Amazon), and have the highest regard for that book. I won't bore you with my entire review, but do want to highlight what I like about it:
[W]hile the performance and scalability techniques presented in this book don't approach those embodied in books by Daniel A. Menasce and Virgilio A. F. Almeida, or Raj Jain, they are more than sufficient for software engineers and architects ... The value of this book is that it does make scalability and performance techniques accessible to most developers, even those who are math-challenged (and there are quite a few of them out there)...
Who are Menasce, Almeida and Jain? They are among the foremost experts on capacity planning and performance/scalability. Raj Jain is probably the father of performance analysis. His seminal The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject. It's also not easy to read unless you have up-to-date math skills. I use MathCad to work through examples in this and other books, making learning much easier. Mr. Jain also coauthored Practical Performance Analyst with Neil J. Gunther - I have this book, but got it in the same timeframe that I discovered the body of work by Daniel A. Menasce and Virgilio A. F. Almeida. These two writers have taken the foundation laid by Raj Jain and have built upon it through a series of excellent books. While their work does not supersede Jain's first book, it does keep it alive in spirit and currency. The books they published, in chronological order, are:There are valuable spreadsheets and other material on the Scaling for E-Business website, as well as supporting materials for the other books by Menasce and Almeida.

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