In general, at SUSE, we are very careful about giving any “universal” recommendations regarding performance tuning. Usually, we shy away from providing generic tuning instructions, and instead, where applicable, we try to establish a performance baseline and metrics for a given workload. The reason is that any kind of performance tuning and analysis very much depends from the respective hardware and the workload you are running. And we had quite some discussion if offering a more generic paper about the topic would help or harm.

Of course it is hard or nearly impossible to come up with an “all-in-one document suitable for all purposes” (in German we would say: there is no “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau”, the literal translation of that is “egg-laying wool-milk-sow” – just have a look at the pictures below to understand what I mean …).

Georg Mittenecker – http://kamelopedia.mormo.org/index.php/Datei:Wollmilchsau.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.5

de:User:Pixelrausch – http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Wollmilchsau.png, CC BY-SA 2.0

But we definitely think it is legitimate to publish a document that contains some tips for performance tuning and analysis. A SUSE Best Practices paper, which – in one place – summarizes the “control knobs” which have an impact on performance, correlating them with each other in a beneficial manner and explaining how to make sense out of the puzzle pieces. And that is exactly what my colleague Marco Varlese did, when he started to write this new document “Performance Analysis, Tuning and Tools on SUSE Linux Enterprise Products“.

In the introduction of the paper, Marco explains: “This document focuses on fine-tuning a SUSE Linux Enterprise system. It covers settings and parameters configurable on SUSE Linux Enterprise software offerings, Network Interface Card (NIC) settings and some BIOS settings which are common to most hardware vendors. Performance tuning is hard and general recommendations are tricky. This document tries to provide an insight on configurations in the Linux kernel which have an impact on the overall system performance (throughput versus latency).” And he emphasizes: “This document does not intend to provide a generic rule-of-thumb (or values) to be used for performance tuning. The finest tuning of those parameters described still requires a thorough understanding of the workloads and the hardware they run on.”

If you keep that in mind, and if you are also aware of our usual legal notice  for the SUSE Best Practices series of documents, I am sure that this new paper will provide you with a myriad of useful and valuable information and insight on how to analyze and tune performance of SUSE Linux Enterprise-based products.

Want to learn more now about system analysis and tuning of your SUSE Linux Enterprise Server? Just have a look at the “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server System Analysis and Tuning Guide” at our documentation web page. Here you can also find many more SUSE Best Practices documents for a variety of topics. More details about our SUSE Best Practices are available here. And if you now want to write / contribute to a SUSE Best Practices paper yourself, contact your SUSE Documentation team at doc-team@suse.com. Always at your service!

Disclaimer: The text at hand has not been reviewed by a native speaker. If you find typos or language mistakes, please send them to me (meike.chabowski@suse.com) – or if you like them, just keep them and feed them. 😆

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