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Review: Performance Tuning for Linux Servers

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Kirk Coombs

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Posted: 16 Aug 2005

Cover Picture
  • Authors: Sandra K. Johnson, Ph.D; Gerrit Huizenga; Badari Pulavarty
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR/IBM Press
  • ISBN: 0-13-144753-X
  • Copyright 2005
  • Published May 2005
  • 547 Pages

This book is available through the Novell Press.

From the publisher:

From Wall Street to Hollywood, Linux runs many of the world's most business-critical systems. Linux performance now impacts the entire enterprise. In Performance Tuning for Linux Servers, a team of IBM's most-experienced Linux performance specialists shows you how to find bottlenecks, measure performance, and identify effective optimizations.

This book doesn't just cover kernel tuning: it shows how to maximize the end-to-end performance of real-world applications and databases running on Linux. Throughout, the authors present realistic examples based on today's most popular enterprise Linux® platforms, Intel®-based Red Hat® Enterprise Linux, and Novell® SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server. These examples are designed for simplicity, clarity, and easy adaptation to any contemporary Linux environment.


Essential for any administrator who needs to squeeze maximum performance from their Linux server, Performance Tuning for Linux Servers offers excellent information on almost any performance-related aspect of a Linux server. Written for both the novice and the expert, it prepares the reader for technical details by first explaining the background of each topic. For example, an entire chapter is devoted to the various server architectures available, including multiprocessing, enterprise servers, and clustering--helping the reader become familiar with what technologies are available, and empowering them to make informed decisions. The content is generic and can be applied to almost any Linux distribution, but focuses on SUSE Linux Enterprise server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Performance Tuning for Linux Server begins with the basics: deciding on a server architecture, understanding the Linux kernel, and being aware installation issues. Next, it outlines the skills required to track down performance problems, including: explanations of the basic Linux tools such as top, vmstat, and netstat; introductions to system trace tools such as strace and OProfile; and an introduction to benchmarking. Once the reader knows how to track down problems, they are presented with information on tuning almost any aspect of the system, from the scheduler to the file system. Next, tuning various server applications such as web servers, database servers, and application servers is covered. Perhaps most important, several case studies guide the reader through various scenarios and show them how to practically approach each situation.

Any administrator who needs to boost the performance of their Linux server can count on Performance Tuning for Linux Servers to be a reliable and informative resource.

Topics include:

  • Installation Issues
  • The Linux Kernel
  • Server Architectures
  • System Performance Monitoring
  • System Trace Tools
  • Benchmarks
  • The Linux Scheduler
  • Virtual Memory
  • I/O Subsystems
  • File Systems
  • Networking
  • Interprocess Communication
  • Linux Code
  • Web Servers
  • File and Print Servers
  • Database Severs
  • Application Servers
  • Tuning Kernel Parameters
  • Case Studies for:
    • Benchmarking
    • Tuning The I/O Schedulers in Linux 2.6
    • File System Tuning
    • Network Performance
    • Commercial Workload Tuning

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