Identify the bottlenecks in your systems

Performance Improvement Tips

Everyone wants to have their computer systems running as fast, and efficient, as possible.  The most common advice that is given to improve performance, is to add more memory.  It is often true that increasing the amount of memory will improve performance.  Especially on Windows based systems.

However, the way to get the most performance out of you system, is to identify and address where the bottleneck is occurring.  If your system is being bound by disk throughput, for example, increasing memory does not truly address the issue.  It may help some, but not to the extent that improving your disk performance would.

There are tools to monitor your system for performance issues.  These vary based on the operating system you have.  By running the appropriate tools, the true location of your processing bottleneck can be located.  Then, it is a matter of evaluating where this is occurring, and determining what, if anything, can be done to address it. 

  • It could be a faster disk.
  • More disk caching. 
  • Stepping up from a 100 Mb network to gigabit. 
  • It may be that you need a faster CPU. 
  • Or, it may be the often suggested increasing memory.

Once a bottleneck is addressed, the system needs to be re-evaluated.  The bottleneck may be the in the same place, but the impact is lessened.  Many times, though, the bottleneck will be shifted somewhere else.  Maybe you were being limited by your disk throughput, and addressed that with a faster disk subsystem.  Now, the bottleneck may be your network throughput, and that can be addressed.  The process should go on, until it is not feasible to improve whatever is imposing the restriction in a reasonable manner.   For example, a 2% improvement for a $2,000 cost is not reasonable.

It should be noted that the performance increase you see when you address any single bottleneck, may be large or small.  The improvement will depend on how interdependent the bottlenecks are.  If, to continue with the disk throughput example, the disk bottleneck is just a little above the network bottleneck, a faster disk will only gain a little.  If they have a larger separation, your improvement will be much more.

Contact CCS Retail if you would like us to analyze your systems and help you improve your throughput.   A properly tuned system may save you the cost of new equipment.


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