Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

To be able to predict the load a new software system will pose on the infrastructure, and to be able to create representative test scripts before the software is built, user profiling can be used.

In order to predict the load on the infrastructure, it is important to have a good indication of the future usage of the system. This can be done by defining a number of typical user groups of the new system (also known as personas) and by creating a list of the tasks they will perform on the new system.

First a list of personas must be defined – preferably less than ten personas. Representatives of these persona groups must be interviewed to understand how they will use the new system. A list can be compiled with the main tasks (like login, start the application, open a document, create a report, etc.).

For each of these tasks, an estimation can be made on how, and how often they will use the system’s functionality to perform the task. Based on these estimations, and the number of users the personas represent, a calculation can be made on how often each system task is used in a given time frame, and how these relate to infrastructure tasks. A very simplified example is given below:

Persona Number of users per persona System task Infrastructure task Frequency
Data entry officer 100 Start application Read 100 MB data from SAN Once a day
Data entry officer  100 Start application Transport 100 MB data to workstation Once a day
Data entry officer  100 Enter new data Transport 50 KB data from workstation to server 40 per hour
Data entry officer  100 Enter new data Store 50 KB data to SAN 40 per hour
Data entry officer  100 Change existing data Read 50 KB data from SAN 10 per hour
Data entry officer  100 Change existing data Transport 50 KB data from server to workstation 10 per hour
Data entry officer  100 Change existing data Transport 50 KB data from workstation to server 10 per hour
Data entry officer  100 Change existing data Store 50 KB data to SAN 10 per hour
Data entry officer  100 Close application Transport 500 KB configuration data from workstation to server Once a day
Data entry officer  100 Close application Store 500 KB data to SAN Once a day

This leads to the following profile for this persona group:

Infrastructure task
Per day Per second
Data transport from server to workstation (KB) 10,400,000 361.1
Data transport from workstation to server (KB) 2,050,000 71.2
Data read from SAN (KB) 10,400,000 361.1
Data written to SAN (KB) 2,050,000 71.2

Of course, in practice, this exercise is much more complicated. There might be many personas, complex tasks, tasks are spread in time, or show hotspots (like starting the application or logging in, which typically happens at the start of the day), the system can have background processes running, and the load on the system for a specific task can be very hard to predict.

But as this very simplified example shows, user profiles can help determining the load on various parts of the infrastructure, even before the application software is written.


This entry was posted on Sunday 21 February 2016

Earlier articles

Infrastructure as code

My Book

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

Performance and availability monitoring in levels

UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Infrastructure Architecture - Course materials

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

The first computers

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Sjaak Laan


Recommended links

Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
Byelex
XR Magazine
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization


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The postings on this site are my opinions and do not necessarily represent CGI’s strategies, views or opinions.

 

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