Transaction Modeling for PerformanceTuning and Capacity Planning
Capacity planning and performance management are critical functions to properly sizelarge scale transaction processing systems. An oversized system will waste money andreduce profits. An undersized system will result in poor customer service and harm the business.This paper describes a straightforward effective method for capacity planning and performance management that does not require expensive commercial software. Thetechnique can be applied to production and test systems with minimal expense. Thisapproach has been successfully used in a production environment resulting in significantsavings during each of the past several years.
Large scale global online transaction processing systems are becoming more common inrecent years. Such systems support the needs of merchants, consumers, governments,and corporations throughout the world. Many of these systems require the highest qualityand level of service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Such online systems are expected to process transactions in the shortest time practical. This need for high quality, reliability,and availability with high transactions rates place intense demands on these systems.Service levels suffer if these systems are undersized. However, oversized systems wastesresources that would be better used elsewhere.Some companies rely on stress testing to determine the correct size for their system. Thestress test involves sending test transactions near the maximum rate for the system andincreasing the rate until the system breaks. The analog is a racecar tested on the salt flatsat full speed until the engine blows up. This technique is useful to understand thetheoretical top speed. However, the results are not suited to forecast city and highwaydriving. Similarly, the company would typically spend significant effort and expense tocreate the correct test transaction mix and test environment. If the test transactions or theenvironment are not correctly configured then test results could be misleading.Other organizations use system monitoring software, such as Best1
, to identify the peak periods and plan their capacity on that load. However, these products generally areunaware of the underlying transaction model that drives the system. Even when thisinformation is provided, the generic tool typically does not correlate the resource usageagainst the transactions.Best1 is a registered trademark of BMC Software, Inc