Accelerating AIX

Rudy Chukran  
Total pages
March 1998

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Accelerating AIX
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Reengineering and Total Quality Management promised dramatic improvements in profit, efficiency, and quality, but a number of TQM initiatives ended in failure as a result of an incorrect or incomplete implementation process. Here is a book that will help put the odds on your side by giving you specific skills and experience-based advice for successfully planning and implementing process design.

Comprehensive in scope, this book integrates the three major approaches to process redesign -- benchmarking, continuous improvement, and reengineering -- showing how to combine them for maximum effectiveness. It explains the circumstances for which each approach is appropriate and describes how to apply each specific technique effectively. The book also points out the many potential pitfalls that can impede even the most well thought out program.

You will find detailed and methodical coverage of such topics as defining processes, measuring performance, reducing cycle times, team building, benchmarking, the critical success factors for reengineering, and much more. Numerous examples from many different industries demonstrate concepts and techniques in action, illustrate common mistakes, and provide a model for successful implementation that you can apply to your own organization.

The information is presented in an accessible format, with guidelines, checklists, worksheets, discussion questions, and clear graphics to help you absorb essential information quickly and apply it successfully.

Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Tables.


1. Introduction to Tuning Concepts.

Why Consider Tuning?

What Can I Tune?

What Are Your Performance Objectives?


Roles of the Performance Analyst.

2. AIX System Design.

General AIX Design Goals.

Program Loading.

Virtual Memory Overview.

Page Faults.

Late Page Space Allocation.

Filesystem Caching.

I/O Overview.

Layers for File I/O.

JFS Log.

Sequential Read-Ahead and Write-Behind.

Logical Volume Manager.

CPU Scheduling Overview.

Scheduling Threads.

Memory Overcommitment.

Facts of Life about Disk Hardware.


3. Tools for the System Administrator.

Vmstat: CPU and Virtual Memory Utilization.

Iostat: Disk I/O Utilization.

Sar: System Activity Report.

Ps: Process Status.

AIX Monitor.

Tprof: Trace Profiler.

Filemon: File I/O Activity.

Svmon: Virtual Memory Report.

Rmss: Reduced Memory Simulator.

PDT: Performance Diagnostic Tool.

Performance Toolbox.


4. Remedies.

CPU-Bound Remedies.

Faster CPU.

More CPUs.

Scheduling Tasks at Other Times.

Finding Runaway Processes.

Tuning Scheduler Algorithm.

Memory-Bound Remedies.

Adding More Real Memory.

Tuning File Memory Allocation.

Tuning Memory Overcommitment Algorithm.

Page Space Configuration.

Isolating Memory Leaks.

Disk-Bound Remedies.

Importance of Data Placement on a Disk.

Determining Your Disk Configuration.

Specifying Where Your Data Goes.

JFS Considerations.

SCSI Bus Speed Limitations.

Miscellaneous Tuning Parameters.


5. Local Area Network Tuning.

Network Monitoring Tools.




Network Tuning Remedies.


TCP/IP Memory Options.

Network Interface.

TCP/IP Setup Errors.


6. Programming Tools.


XL Compiler Flags Common to All Languages.

XL FORTRAN Unique Flags.

XL C Unique Flags.


Dynamically Linked Objects.

Statically Linked Objects.


Tprof Revisited.





Trace Postprocessing Tools.

Program Visualizer.


7. Remedies for Programmers.

System Calls.

Read and Write.

Mapped File I/O.

Network Socket Options.

Dynamic Module Loading.

Hardware Type Inquiry.

Hardware Optimization.

Matrix Access Optimization.

Lock Access Optimization.

Word Alignment.


8. Putting It All Together.

What Is the Problem--Really?

Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Go Next?

Take Some Remedy.

When to Stop.

Summary of Tools.



IBM Publications.

External Publications.

Sources for AIX Software.

IBM Sources.

Sources for Free Software for AIX on the Net.

Performance Toolbox Metrics.

Source Examples.

Sieve of Erosthenes--sieve.c.

Index. 0201633825T04062001

Back Cover

As an AIX system administrator or programmer, you know that performance tuning is critical to ensuring that your operating system meets the demands placed on today's computer systems and LAN operations. However, the methods of tuning have often been difficult to divine without expert assistance. In Accelerating AIX, Rudy Chukran shares AIX know-how, experience, and insight gained from spending more than ten years as one of IBM's tuning experts.

This comprehensive book provides key information for both system administrators and application programmers, with: full coverage of monitoring, diagnostic, and development tools; remedies for performance slowdowns; techniques for relieving LAN bottlenecks; and proven methodologies for isolating, analyzing, and solving performance problems.

A complete, one-stop reference, Accelerating AIX addresses topics such as:

  • AIX system design, emphasizing those areas where tuning is possible and most effective
  • System administration tools, including vmstat, iostat, sar, ps, AIX Monitor, Rmss, PDT, and more
  • CPU, memory, and disk-bound remedies, such as Schedtune, Time Slice, tuning memory overcommitment algorithm, and disk caching effects
  • LAN monitoring tools and remedies, including transmit and receive queues, send and receive buffers, MTU, Name Resolution, and Client and Server NFS Daemons
  • Programming performance tools, such as XL compiler flags for numerous languages, dynamically and statically linked objects, various profilers, program visualizer, and techniques for implementing shared libraries
  • AIX system call remedies emphasizing interprocess communications and shared memory (for example, Pthread_mutex lock and unlock, PowerPC Weak Memory Ordering, and Matrix Access Optimization)

Drawing on his years of practical experience with AIX, the author shows you "what to do when . . ." in a special chapter that discusses how to recognize and evaluate problems and plan and implement appropriate solutions using many of the tools and techniques presented.



Rudy Chukran has been working with AIX since its creation in 1983. Currently, he works for IBM as a technical consultant advising customers using the AIX system platform. His advice covers all aspects of troubleshootingaefrom solving compiler problems to analyzing system performance problems. In addition, he has presented numerous professional seminars on AIX performance. Some of the companies that have taken advantage of his expertise are Oracle, Informix, Sybase, SDRC, Dow Jones, Halliburton, and Computervision.