Developer Division Performance Engineering blog

News and commentary on developing scalable Windows applications with Visual Studio

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  • Blog Post: Measuring Processor Utilization and Queuing Delays in Windows applications

    Continuing my answer to the mail I received recently from Uriel Carrasquilla… Uri’s note, reprinted in the previous post , refers to an "issue" associated with the current technique for measuring processor utilization in Windows. As my reply mentioned, these are documented and well-understood issues...
  • Blog Post: Parallel Scalability Isn’t Child’s Play, Part 3: The Problem with Fine-Grained Parallelism

    In the last blog entry in this series , I introduced the model for parallel program scalability proposed by Neil Gunther, which I praised for being a realistic antidote to more optimistic, but better known, formulas. Gunther’s model adds a new parameter to the more familiar Amdahl’s law. The additional...
  • Blog Post: Are we taking advantage of Parallelism?

    Recently, a colleague of mine, Mark Friedman, posted a blog titled “ Parallel Scalability Isn’t Child’s Play ” in which he reviewed the merits of Amdahl Law vs. Gunther’s Law for determining the practical limits to parallelization. I would not argue with the premise of Mark’s blog that Parallelism is...
  • Blog Post: Parallel Scalability Isn’t Child’s Play, Part 2: Amdahl’s Law vs. Gunther’s Law

    Part 1 of this series of blog entries discussed results from simulating the performance of a massively parallel SIMD application on several alternative multi-core architectures. These results were reported by researchers at Sandia Labs and publicized in a press release. Neil Gunther, my colleague from...
  • Blog Post: Parallel Scalability Isn’t Child’s Play

    In a recent blog entry , Dr. Neil Gunther, a colleague from the Computer Measurement Group (CMG), warned about unrealistic expectations being raised with regard to the performance of parallel programs on current multi-core hardware. Neil’s blog entry highlighted a dismal parallel programming experience...
  • Blog Post: Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack: Final Thoughts

    This is a continuation of Part IV of this article posted here . Note that a final version of a white paper tying this series of five blog entries together (and a Powerpoint presentation on the subject) are attached. For many years, the effort to improve network performance on Windows and other...
  • Blog Post: Mainstream NUMA & the TCP/IP stack: Part 2: Programming ccNUMA machines

    This is a continuation of Part I of this article posted here . In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the capacity issues that are driving architectural changes in the TCP/IP networking stack. While network interfaces are increasing in throughput capacity, processor speeds in the multi-core era are...
  • Blog Post: Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack: Part I.

    One of the intriguing aspects of the onset of the many-core processor era is the necessity of using parallel programming techniques to reap the performance benefits of this and future generations of processor chips. Instead of significantly faster processors, we are getting more of them packaged on a...
  • Blog Post: Thoughts on Intel's recent hardware announcements

    Intel briefed customers recently about the evolution of its processor architectures to support ManyCore processors. Highlights of the press briefing include announcing the quad-core Tukwila processor that supports the IA-64 Itanium architecture and a six-core x64-based processor called Dunnington that...
  • Blog Post: Parallel programming: Where Do We Go From Here: Part 1

    The Performance of Desktop Applications in the ManyCore Era The Quad-cores are coming! The Quad-cores are coming! Beginning in early 2008, machines with the latest quad-core processors became available from the major manufacturers. Should you be excited about the prospect? Should you run right...
  • Blog Post: Where Do We Go From Here, Part 1.

    The Performance of Desktop Applications in the ManyCore Era The Quad-cores are coming! The Quad-cores are coming! Beginning in early 2008, machines with the latest quad-core processors became available from the major manufacturers. Should you be excited about the prospect? Should you run right...
  • Blog Post: Who Am I and What Am I Doing Writing a Blog?

    My name is Mark Friedman and I have been working here at Microsoft as an Architect in the Developer Division Performance Engineering team since October 2006. Although I am a newbie here, I am an industry veteran with an extensive background in software product development, particularly in developing...
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