Improving application performance

To get into the right spirit for a performance improvement initiative, you’ll need to:

  • Learn – what the problem really is, read about it
  • Test and Measure – when and where bad performance hurts most, focus on the hot-spots, rinse and repeat
  • Benchmark – why is there a problem
  • Patterns and Practices – how not to repeat the same mistakes

Test and Measure

As Tom DeMarco said, “You can’t control what you can’t measure”. So test, measure, and learn where the problems are. The following tools and measures can be very useful for diagnosis:

  • Benchmarks
  • Memory profilers
  • Code execution profilers
  • Performance counters


Benchmarks on the following aspects can be very useful:

  • Memory utilization
  • Memory I/O
  • Network I/O
  • Processor utilization
  • Storage I/O
  • Video

Write standard routines to benchmark above aspects, save results in operations per second (ops). Reuse the same routines across different hardware and software versions.


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