SPE HowTos

What are HOWTO’s

Wikipedia defines How-To’s as follows, “A HowTo is an informal, often short, description of how to accomplish a specific task. A how-to is usually meant to help non-experts, may leave out details that are only important to experts, and may also be greatly simplified from an overall discussion of the topic. How-tos have a long history as a way of sharing knowledge on the Internet, but are less successful than FAQs, manuals, recipes and guides.

In the beginning, most howto’s on the Internet were the result of a complex process in which an author wrote a how-to for potential readers. After 2001, user added content played a more and more important role on the internet in a trend that is widely referred to as Web 2.0. This had a profound impact on the way in which howto’s are generated on the internet, as the readers and users were able to add to and improve the on-line content.”

A HowTo is a document that does precisely what the name suggests i.e. It’s describes “HowTo” achieve a set of outcomes through illustration of all the steps involved. HowTo’s are generally structured and written without too much technical jargon in a straight forward manner without making too many assumptions of the depth of knowledge the reader. HowTo’s are meant to make for easy reading and are logical in the sequence of steps it recommends.

Any background knowledge to assimilate the information provided in the HowTo is generally highlighted at the start of the HowTo. HowTo’s are generally written for the professional who are clear of what they need to accomplish but have little or no knowledge of how to go about achieving those objectives. HowTo’s are meant to be exhaustive in nature and they are definitely not meant to offer the most efficient way of getting the job done. A HowTo should be seen as a kick starter that helps the user get up and running with a given task without having to master all the required fundamentals.

Why HowTo’s @ PPA

HowTo’s have been the mainstay of the Open Source and Free Software movement for decades. One of the reasons why Open Source and Free Software is so widely used today is simply because of the depth of documentation that exists and the maturity of the Open Source ecosystem which has delivered scalable, open and reliable software. HowTo’s like many other building blocks have helped the Open Source and Free Software movement grow immensely while eliminating the need to keep re-inventing the wheel. It’s only natural that we at Practical Performance Analyst adopt the best from the Open Source and Free Software movement. A lot of the work we do at Practical Performance Analyst borrows from the fundamentals of the Open Source movement and HowTo’s are definitely one of them.

As HowTo’s @ PPA grows and matures we will hopefully reduce the reinventing of the wheel which happens so very often at organizations, projects and programs when it comes to the science of building/delivering systems that scale.

How To Library: Putting together all the documentation at Practical Performance Analyst has been a fun filled and tremendously fulfilling endeavor. However this involves a lot of effort all thanks to our volunteers here at Practical Performance Analyst. This section provides a listing of all the HowTo’s we intend to put together over the coming year. Feel free to drop us a note at howtos at practical performance analyst dot com and let us know if there’s anything else you would like to see listed here.

The list of HOWTO’s we are putting together at Practical Performance Analyst include –

  • HOWTO Create A Performance Budget
  • HOWTO Choose A Performance Testing Tool
  • HOWTO Build A Career As A Performance Testing Engineer
  • HOWTO Create Non Functional Requirements
  • HOWTO Choose A Diagnostics and APM Tool
  • HOWTO Create A Performance Testing Approach
  • HOWTO Create A Capacity Management Approach
  • HOWTO Create A Workload Model
  • HOWTO Model Performance Of Applications
  • HOWTO Choose What Type of Performance Tests To Execute : Load Testing, Stress Testing, Break Testing, Soak Testing
  • HOWTO Choose A Performance Modelling Technique : Analytical Modelling, Statistical Modelling, Simulation Modelling
  • HOWTO Understand and Intrepret Empirical Data : Mean, Median, Mode, Quartile, What are Percentile Measures, Dangers of Averages, Scatter Plots v/s Bar or Line Charts
  • HOWTO write a Performance Engineering Strategy
  • HOWTO write a Performance Testing Strategy
  • HOWTO write a Capacity Management Strategy
  • HOWTO write a Non Functional Requirements Document
  • HOWTO create Performance Budgets For Systems
  • HOWTO execute a Performance Test
  • HOWTO model Application Performance using Analytical Models
  • HOWTO model Application Performance using Statistical Models
  • HOWTO model Application Performance using Simulation Models
  • HOWTO define a monitoring approach to capture relevant metrics during a Performance Test
  • What are the factors to consider when deciding which Performance Testing tool is appropriate for you
  • What are the factors to consider when deciding which Application Diagnostics tool is appropriate for you
  • HOWTO Monitor the Performance of a system using Monit
  • HOWTO Monitor the Performance of a website using Sitespeed.IO
  • HOWTO Optimize & Tune WordPress for high performance
  • HowTo use JMT to build Queuing Network Model
  • HowTo use JMT to build a MVA (Mean Value Analysis) Model
  • HowTo use JMT for Asymptotic Analysis & bottleneck Identification of Queuing Network Models
  • HowTo use JWAT for Workload Characterization
  • Howto use JMT as a Markov Chain Simulator
  • HowTo use QPME to create Queueing Petri Net Models

We hope you find the content useful here at HowTo’s @ PPA. If you have the inclination to support development of the community here at Practical Performance Analyst and contribute to building of the Open BoK (Body Of Knowledge) on SPE (Systems Performance Engineering) please drop us a note at volunteering at practical performance analyst dot com.

At Practical Performance Analyst we always have welcomed and respected your input, feedback and comments. In fact, we are keen to work with experienced Performance Architects, Performance Engineers, Performance Testers, Capacity Planners who might want to write their own HOWTO’s or partner on writing a HOWTO. Also, if you have ideas that you think should be on this list please send us an email with details of the topic and why it should be included in this list. Practical Performance Analyst

Trevor Warren is passionate about challenging the status-quo and finding reasons to innovate. Over the past 16 years he has been delivering complex systems, has worked with very large clients across the world and constantly is looking for opportunities to bring about change. Trevor constantly strives to combine his passion for delivering outcomes with his ability to build long lasting professional relationships. You can learn more about the work he does at LinkedIn. You can download a copy of his CV at VisualCV. Visit the Github page for details of the projects he’s been hacking with.

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