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Software bottlenecking in client-server systems and rendezvous networks

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4 Author(s)
Neilson, J.E. ; Real-time & Distributed Syst. Group, Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada ; Woodside, C.M. ; Petriu, D.C. ; Majumdar, S.

Software bottlenecks are performance constraints caused by slow execution of a software task, in typical client-server systems a client task must wait in a blocked state for the server task to respond to its requests, so a saturated server will slow down all its clients. A rendezvous network generalizes this relationship to multiple layers of servers with send-and-wait interactions (rendezvous), a two-phase model of task behavior, and to a unified model for hardware and software contention. Software bottlenecks have different symptoms, different behavior when the system is altered, and a different cure from the conventional bottlenecks seen in queueing network models of computer systems, caused by hardware limits. The differences are due to the “push-back” effect of the rendezvous, which spreads the saturation of a server to its clients. The paper describes software bottlenecks by examples, gives a definition, shows how they can be located and alleviated, and gives a method for estimating the performance benefit to be obtained. Ultimately, if all the software bottlenecks can be removed, the performance limit will be due to a conventional hardware bottleneck

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 9 )