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Projects : M-Pathways Performance Measurement

The Center for Information Technology Integration (CITI) is studying the performance of the proposed M-Pathways infrastructure, which is based on a distributed processing architecture provided by PeopleSoft. The CITI performance study consists of two complementary efforts. The first involves building a testbed at CITI to measure the performance of specific infrastructure components. The second effort involves modeling the infrastructure as a whole, and seeks to provide overall performance indicators.

Testbed Effort

The CITI M-Pathways Performance Measurement testbed is modeled after the current M-Pathways deployment architecture and consists of a three-tier hardware architecture:
  • Server: IBM RS/6000, Model F30, AIX 4.1.4, 256 MB RAM, 4 GB disk
  • Middle: Pentium, dual-processor, 200 Mhz, Windows NT, 128 MB RAM, 4 GB disk
  • Client: Pentium, 200 Mhz, Windows 95/NT, 32 MB RAM, 2 GB disk
The IBM RS/6000 runs Oracle7 version server code and is the same Oracle code that is invoked by the PeopleSoft 6 software. The dual-processor Pentium runs the Citrix WinFrame 1.6 server software; the single-processor Pentium runs the WinFrame client. Together, the WinFrame product allows an application's user interface to execute on a client PC while application logic executes on the WinFrame server.

Stress, a program to stress the Oracle and Citrix products in a controllable way, was developed in Visual Basic and has been used to evaluate both two- and three-tier architectures. In the two-tier configuration, Stress is run on the dual-processor Pentium and accesses the Server machine directly; in the three-tier configuration, Stress is invoked from the WinFrame client machine, runs on the WinFrame server, and passes screen updates back to the WinFrame client under control of the Citrix product.

Currently, we're writing a report summarizing our findings.

Modeling Effort

A closed queueing model (QNM) with a fixed number of customers was built to analyze the two-tier configuration. Stress was used to obtain values for model parameters reflective of our testbed configuration, and the model is now being used to generate performance predictions. Currently, we're writing a report summarizing our results.

Future Work

The next step involves adding a third tier to the performance model. projects | techreports | press | lab | location | staff Email address
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