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A Practical Approach to Capacity Modelling

Dr. Norton teaches a workshop on computer systems capacity planning modeling. This workshop is available as either a half-day overview or a full day in-depth workshop. He has given it at several performance related conferences and it is also available on-site at your location. Please send us an if you would like to schedule an on-site workshop.


A Practical Approach to Capacity Modelling Workshop Abstract:

Have you ever spent days or weeks modeling a system only to find no one wants to read the results? Does your boss think modeling takes too long and doesn't provide anything useful? Do you think the 'right' modeling tool will fix your problems if you can just find it? A Practical Approach to Capacity Modeling takes a step back and looks at modeling as a business problem to be solved with technical tools rather than a technical problem. Several application modeling approaches are presented with the focus on predicting the required computer system capacity based on business projections. The techniques presented use tools readily available to the attendees to solve significant business problems.

The tutorial outlines a spiral approach to any modeling effort that starts with the simplest of tools. A distinction is made between an isolated modeling effort and establishing an organization to provide modeling services. A few classic failures (modeling efforts that got the right answer, but failed) will be presented and discussed.

The tutorial concludes with an open discussion of where modeling is going, some of the problems modeling new applications (client/server, CORBA, and the Web), a brief overview of new techniques such as Simalytic Modeling and Business Simulation (System Dynamics) and some of the issues for validating models with end-to-end response time metrics.


  • How do you identify the problem?
  • Where to focus the modeling effort?
  • Tools: Start simple and work up.
  • One shot effort or service provider?
  • Failures: What can we learn?
  • Futures: Where does modeling go from here?
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Past conference presentations:

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