USENIX 2005 Annual Technical Conference, FREENIX Track Abstract
Pp. 189198 of the Proceedings
Interactive Performance Measurement with VNCPlay
Nickolai Zeldovich and Ramesh Chandra, Stanford University
Today many system benchmarks use throughput as a measure of
performance. While throughput is appropriate for benchmarking server
environments, response time is a better metric for evaluating desktop
performance. Currently, there is a lack of good tools to measure
interactive performance; although several commercial GUI testing
tools exist, they are not designed for performance measurement.
This paper presents VNCplay, a cross-platform tool for measuring
interactive performance of GUI-based systems.
VNCplay records a user's interactive session with a system and replays
it multiple times under different system configurations;
interactive response time is evaluated by comparing the times at
which similar screen updates occur in each of the replayed sessions.
Using VNCplay we studied the effect of processor speed and disk load
on interactive performance of Microsoft Windows and Linux.
These experiments show that the same user session can have widely
varying interactive response times in different environments
while maintaining the same total running time,
illustrating that response time is a better measure
of interactive performance than throughput.
The experimental results make a case for a response time
measurement tool like VNCplay.
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