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CRD’s Brian Tierney Writes Article on Maximizing Network Throughput

November 1, 2005


Brian Tierney, developer of the Netlogger toolkit.

Brian Tierney, a member of CRD’s Distributed Systems Department, has built a strong track record in analyzing the performance of networks and distributed computing systems. His Netlogger toolkit allows users of distributed systems to analyze performance and locate bottlenecks which hamper the overall performance of a system.

He recently shared his expertise in an article he wrote for OnLAMP.com. LAMP, an acronym used in Germany to define how MySQL is used in conjunction with Linux, Apache and either Perl, Python or PHP, led to the creation of OnLAMP.com, the open source Web platform. Here’s the intro to Brian’s article: “The other day my friend Bob came to me with a question. He'd written a Java program to copy 100 MB data files from his Windows XP computer at his office in Sunnyvale to a Linux server at his company's East Coast office in Reston, Va. He knew both offices had 100 Mbps Ethernet networks that connected over a 155 Mbps Virtual Private Network (VPN). When he measured the speed of the transfers, he found out that his files were transferring at less than 4 Mbps, and wondered if I had any idea why.

“I wrote this article to explain why this is the case, and what Bob needs to do to achieve the maximum network throughput. This article is aimed mainly at software developers. All too often software developers blame the network for poor performance, when in fact the problem is untuned software. However, there are times when the network is the problem. This article also explains some network troubleshooting tools that can give software developers the evidence needed to make network engineers take them seriously.”

Read the full story at <http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/11/17/tcp_tuning.html?page=1>.

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The Computing Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world, and our universe. ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities. NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (CRD) conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation.

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