Tools

This page is not a definitive set of tools for all aspects of Performance Engineering. It is more what I have used and what is in my performance engineering tool box.

Modelling tools

This section include performance tools that can be used during the design stage to help predict the performance of computer system. To be honest there used to be tool like IT Guru and Hyperformix and I was a great fan of Hyperformix but they have not lasted the test of time. There is the SPE-ED product by Connie Smith but I haven’t used it.

Most of the modelling I do today is with Excel and maybe a bit of Python SymPy if I need a discrete event simulation. I use draw.io should I need to document an event sequence diagram.

Performance Test Tools

For application performance testing tools I started with Silk Performer and moved on to LoadRunner and then Jmeter.

I also like Iometer for easily creating storage IO tests and iperf3 for network performance testing. Both are easy to install and simple to use. They don’t give alot of options but they can get the job done when you need to convince others you have an IO or network problem.

Network Emulation Tools

Network emulators allow you to study the effect of different network characteristics within the local lab.
This is particularly if you have applications that are sensitive to the performance of the network. I have used the
Network emulator from Itrinegy which helped me calibrate a performance model so I could produce graphs like this WAN Model

Remember Chrome allows you to simulate some network characteristics. You can’t use if for full scale performance testing but you might use it to convince a developer they need to reduce payload size or round trips. Graphic below shows where you can select the network characteristics in F12 developer tools.

Performance Engineers ToolKit

Here are some tools that I have in my tool kit.

  • WireShark this is a great free network sniffer
  • Process Explorer Lets you really delve down into the internal of a PC
  • Tikker the stopwatch for performance engineers

Application Performance Monitoring

I have used both AppDynamics and Dynatrace. In fact, I even passed the Dynatrace Associate exam and have done quite a bit of architecting monitoring solutions with Dynatrace. However, I get the most fun out of trying to solve performance problems with these tools.

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