UNIX and Linux Computing Journal: Tuning Considerations, Methods and Practices

[ Thanks to Jay Fink
for this link. ]

One of the most important aspects of any architecture is
performance. Performance tuning is an art unto itself with entire
volumes of data dedicated to tools and methods of tuning a UNIX
Operating System.
This column will not specifically go into
detail about the tools themselves (although they will be mentioned)
but instead, considerations, methods and practices, more of a why
and what sort of approach….”

“Performance tuning most often comes in the form of a bottleneck
creeping up when you are not looking. Despite all of our efforts to
discover and eliminate performance issues before they become
readily apparent, most often performance related problems cannot be
tracked down until they are readily apparent in some fashion [ 2 ].
In a way this is paradoxical and might lead one to the conclusion
that attempting to preemptively strike against possible bottlenecks
is a waste of time, not true, for there will be the occasion you do
beat the bottleneck to the punch and take my word for it, the
reward is well worth the effort. Still, putting that aside, we are
most often under duress when performance tuning. Not the best
possible situation for conducive work, however, it is the most
likely scenario. Like you have heard and seen so many times before,
when a bottleneck pops up it is important to remain calm and not
let the stress factor of others (users, managers, whomever)
interfere with what you are doing.”

“Duress can lend to your making hasty decisions and getting
caught up in finger pointing (most often defensively) or other
nefarious activities that take away valuable time that should be
spent combating a potential problem.”