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Distributed systems are increasingly being used to handle large, business-critical on-line applications that demand guaranteed, quick end-user response times. However, tools for managing performance in distributed systems are not as mature as tools for single systems, and improved ways of handling system-wide performance problems are needed to reduce the cost and complexity of building and managing distributed systems. This case study describes the use of a simple visualization technique to help resolve difficult performance problems in a large distributed system. The use of application-level trace information provides a high-level overview of system behavior that complements the information provided by lower level and component-specific performance tools. Response time problems caused by lock contention, queueing delays, and soft faults can be easily identified with this technique.

H. Jakiela, "Performance Visualization of a Distributed System: A Case Study," in Computer, vol. 28, no. , pp. 30-36, 1995.
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