USENIX 2001 Abstract
Measuring Thin-Client Performance Using Slow-Motion Benchmarking
S. Jae Yang, Jason Nieh, and Naomi Novik, Columbia University
systems are designed to provide the same graphical interfaces and applications
available on traditional desktop computers while centralizing administration
and allowing more efficient use of computing resources. Despite the rapidly
increasing popularity of these client-server systems, there are few reliable
analyses of their performance. Industry standard benchmark techniques commonly
used for measuring desktop system performance are ill-suited for measuring
the performance of thin-client systems because these benchmarks only measure
application performance on the server, not the actual user-perceived performance
on the client.
To address this problem,
we have developed slow-motion benchmarking, a new measurement
technique for evaluating thin-client systems. In slow-motion benchmarking,
performance is measured by capturing network packet traces between a thin
client and its respective server during the execution of a slow-motion version
of a standard application benchmark. These results can then be used either
independently or in conjunction with standard benchmark results to yield an
accurate and objective measure of the performance of thin-client systems.
We have demonstrated
the effectiveness of slow-motion benchmarking by using this technique to measure
the performance of several popular thin-client systems in various network
environments on web and multimedia workloads. Our results show that slow-motion
benchmarking resolves the problems with using standard benchmarks on thin-client
systems and is an accurate tool for analyzing the performance of these systems.
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