King, a veteran consultant in the information technology industry, promotes the concept of performance assurance throughout the entire system lifecycle, examining not only the technical aspects of performance, but also the relevant processes and topics related to companies and people. His goal is for readers to understand the fundamental issues that surround performance and technology such that they can apply them to formulate a coherent customized approach to performance assurance. He mainly discusses hardware sizing, performance, and scalability for server-based systems; and emphasizes those stages before systems go into production.
Review By: Scott Robert Aziz 09/07/2005"Performance Assurance for IT" mainly focuses on the processes for successfully navigating through performance assurance tasks. But, equally important, author Brian King logically presents the technical aspects, in the order they would typically be encountered during the system lifecycle. This excellent resource is organized into seventeen chapters that provide a high level overview of performance-related technical aspects. Some of the technical performance topics covered include operating system performance, CPU, memory, disk, server clustering, load balancing, firewalls, and server side development technologies.
The first part of the book covers the fundamental principles of IT system performance assurance, and the second part is a high-level technology guide that covers hardware and software technologies used in server-based systems.
King shares many anecdotes along the way, providing a foundation of practical experiences from which the reader can draw. His straight-shooting writing style provides hard nosed perspectives on the many project- and process-related speed bumps and potholes that are sure to be encountered when undertaking performance assurance planning, development, and testing activities. Some readers may find these perspectives intimidating and possibly cynical in nature, particularly those who may be new to performance design, analysis, or testing activities. However, the reader should appreciate the candor especially if she has one or more of these types of projects under her belt.
For those in the QA/testing field, this book provides a broad view of performance assurance from an IT perspective--it is not strictly about performance testing. Having read several books on performance testing over the years, I believe this book does an excellent job of itemizing some key points that are briefly discussed in other such books. The first two chapters deal with involving the right people and developing a comprehensive performance assurance process--some very good fundamental advice on early planning activities.
The technology guide, featured in the second half of the book, offers a very good overview of the main server-side software and hardware components from a performance perspective. This guide is not meant to be a comprehensive resource; instead it is meant to highlight the performance-related aspects of each technology presented. It makes for a handy consolidated reference guide. It will be a welcome resource for technical architects, performance analysts, and performance testing professionals alike. It is an important contribution to the topic of IT performance assurance/testing and a great reference book for your software quality assurance and testing library.
"Performance Assurance for IT" offers a comprehensive look at many of the processes required for studying, designing, building, and supporting a well performing IT system through the entire system lifecycle. I highly recommend it.