On Performance: From Hardware up to Distributed Systems

  • Igor SchagaevEmail author
  • Hao Cai
  • Simon Monkman


Nothing is easy nowadays: frequency of processors increased thousand times, system performance as a whole sometimes tripled. Complexity of the system became uncontrollable with zillions of processes and elements to juggle increased unconsciously, leaving for us some comfort but at an astronomical cost. What it means? We are doing something seriously wrong and doing it consistently and persistently. Thus, authors of this work have decided to put together our own discussions and estimations we did since 2002 up to now. We show that system performance depends on user, hardware, and software, structure or architecture of a system and its topology. We propose to see performance analysis a bit wider, thinking systematically what various zones of computer or distributed system can bring or contribute, including the role of processor, structure of system software and overvalued parallelization (try to eat and dance at the same time—it might be fun). We have introduced a kind of virtual architecture through which see instruction execution considering what is in there for us and what system requires for itself. The observation is rather pessimistic. We have briefly demonstrated what simplest architecture if carefully designed can give regarding performance, reliability and energy efficiency AT THE SAME TIME! Regarding distributed systems, we show that Amdahl Law is also very overoptimistic mostly serves to promote parallel architectures and distributed systems. Simple model that we have explained for kids from British primary school and even did field study with them so-called “fence model” made clear that the limit of performance or simply overall reasonably good design is unachievable until we start rethinking the whole architecture and its main element interaction—human, hardware and system software together, pursuing three nonfunctional requirements, performance, reliability, and energy efficiency in concert.


  1. 1.
    Schagaev I (1990) Yet another classification of redundancy. In: IMEKO 7th symposium technical diagnostics, 17–19 Sept 1990, Helsinki, pp 485–491Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schagaev I (1990) Instruction sets and their role for computer architectures (in Russian). Electronics PublicationGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sogomonyan ES, Schagaev IV (1988) Hardware and software of fail-safe computing systems. Automat I Telemech 2:3–39Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schagaev I (2001) CASSA—concept of active system safety for aviation. In: IFAC automatic control in aerospace 2001 a proceedings of the 15th IFACS symposium Bologna/Forli, Italy, 2–7 September 2001Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Blaeser L, Monkman S, Schagaev I (2014) Evolving systems. In: Resilient computer system design. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-15069-7Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Schagaev I. Active system control design of system resilience. ISBN 978-3-319-46812-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hennesy J, Patterson D (2003) Computer architecture: a quantitative approach. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco. ©2003 ISBN:1558607242Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Amdahl GM (1967) Validity of the single processor approach to achieving large scale computing capabilities. In: Proceedings of the April 18–20, 1967, spring joint computer conference, AFIPS ‘67 (Spring), pp 483–485.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IT-ACS LtdStevenageUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceShantou UniversityShantouChina

Personalised recommendations