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Episodes

  • Welcome Back to PerfBytes

    Sep 17, 2014 | 50 min
    After a short summer vacation, your trusted source of performance testing advice, wisdom and humor returns as James and Mark chat about industry standardization and certification, holiday SWAT teams, uncomfortable Kevlar, sacred performance undergarments and microbial shrimp. Welcome Back to PerfBytes!
  • Bob Wescott's Every Computer Performance

    Jul 21, 2014 | 41 min
    Hazed and Confused is now the official ice cream for all performance testers and engineers, courtesy of our guest Robert Wescott, who is the author of the recent "Every Computer Performance" book. James and I had a great time speaking with Bob about his experiences in writing the book, translating his expertise into written form and contributing so much to the continued learning that every performance professional desires. James recommends a degree in art history.
  • PerfBytes Live BBQ - The Cheese Course

    Jul 4, 2014 | 60 min
    Part 3 of the July 4th PerfBytes BBQ - now we get a little weird...
  • The Performance Manifesto

    Jul 4, 2014 | 61 min
    The second hour of the PerfBytes Live BBQ, we are talking about the introduction of the Performance Manifesto.
  • PerfBytes Live BBQ 2.0 part 1

    Jul 4, 2014 | 67 min
  • News of The Damned 6-8-2014

    Jul 2, 2014 | 30 min
    Websites are crashing in the UK, it must be time for News of The Damned. Special guest Seth Eliot joins us for a chat about Zen and The Art of Website Crashing, the spoils of craft brew contaminating the water supply in Portlandia and repeat offender India School Certificate Exam site melts-down again. Vincent Price keeps laughing and websites keep crashing!
  • News of The Damned 5-13-2014

    Jul 1, 2014 | 22 min
    Rebuffering, rebuffering, rebuffering...but it's not a surprise that yet another system has crashed in the UK, this time by Sky's not-streaming-enough servers. Cheap airfare, Ricky Gervais, cute dogs, and we welcome Sweden's own Toontrack to their country's first-ever nomination to the NOTD, failing under the load of an anticipated product launch. That guys keeps screaming...still screaming, while we he is punished by the website crashing as Vincent Price keeps laughing. James invites you to have a not-damned week!
  • Data Driven Performance

    Jun 30, 2014 | 51 min
    Answer me this: how many, how much, averages, standard deviations, frequency distribution or just plain yes or no? It's very hard to know whether your testing effort truly has worth if you don't take a few steps into a few scientific techniques for data analysis. Seth Eliot joins us for a conversation about Data Driven Performance as we learn about the science behind application data, metrics and instrumentation and how to leverage an understanding of the real-world in load testing. We chat about hippo's, the international space station, zero gravity, motorcycle maintenance and mucus creation. This episode is formally sponsored by our friends at www.flood.io.
  • Scalability and Estimation

    May 28, 2014 | 40 min
    You journey through a land of both shadow and substance and you can see the curve on the CPU graph is totally going in the wrong direction - a little worse every minute, every user and soon enough the system will just tip completely over. But how can you test for those conditions beyond the capacity of your test lab environment? You gotta estimate future performance based on the results you gather in the lab. Extrapolation might be evil, but not understanding basic scalability concepts is essential to your success in performance testing and engineering.
  • News of The Damned - UK Special Report

    May 28, 2014 | 18 min
    PerfBytes frequent listener and long-time performance guru Richard Bishop gives this special report on the recent outages in Great Britain, which is not having such great luck at keeping public-facing websites up-and-running.
  • News of The Damned 5-28-2014

    May 28, 2014 | 24 min
  • News of the Damned 5-5-2014

    May 4, 2014 | 16 min
    It’s time for PerfBytes News of The Damned for May 5th, 2014. Satan once again kicks of a round of impressive stories of website and system crashes from around the world. We pay credit to a drunken ticket sales site, Ted Nugent, Hello Kitty, miraculous tandem web server configurations, and Man United - all of whom have the unfortunate luck, or lack thereof, to be joining us this week! And we learn about typical ASP.NET page design, unprepared lack of load balancing and how a CDN might not solve all your problems. As Vincent Price once said: “Bwaaahhaaahaahaaaaaaa!”
  • Performance in Development

    Apr 28, 2014 | 40 min
    As the spring time flowers blossom and warm sunlight shines upon the meadow, somewhere there's a junior developer struggling to fix a scalability defect in production with not one frickin' clue about how they ended up in that messy predicament. In this riveting episode of PerfBytes we chat about how some organizations end up doing all their performance work in development: as an environment, a phase of work, an organizational role or even just that plain 'ole DevOps thing again. James conjures up Dragnet references, Mark channels Scott Barber and Tim Koopmans lends a Perf Rant about time-to-first-byte vs. WPO! Episode formally sponsored by www.flood.io!
  • PerfBytes Live! at STPCON Spring 2014

    Apr 16, 2014 | 45 min
    It's time for PerfBytes LIVE! Please join us again at STPCON in April 2014 for a live broadcast recording of the PerfBytes podcast featuring your wildly banal hosts Mark Tomlinson and James Pulley. We are celebrating the one year anniversary of the PerfBytes Live STPCON broadcasting and will include our coverage of the STPCON news, the performance year in review, the News of The Damned, industry headlines, extemporaneous speaking from actual performance testers and live Q&A with the members of the audience. Attendees in-person will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of PerfBytes shoes! As supporters of the Software Test Professionals performance testing community, the PerfBytes podcast ...
  • News of the Damned for 3-24-2014

    Mar 31, 2014 | 23 min
    There are even more ticket sales websites crashing in the UK, so it must be time for PerfBytes News of the Damned. In this episode for March 24th, 2014 we talk about Kate Bush’s rockin’ concert dates at the Apollo theater after thirty-five years, a roving underwater shark named Lydia, crowd-sourced searchers for flight Malaysian flight 370, and so many followers of Soul Cycle are disrupted in their progress towards self-actualization. The BBC iPlayer takes a hit and James nearly hurts himself while embracing the inner e-Vil, laughing along with Vincent Price.
  • Performance Diagnostics Part 2

    Mar 31, 2014 | 30 min
    Did you know you were hammering the database 1.5 million times per page load? Our friend Petar Puskarich joins us again for this second half of a great discussion about performance diagnostics. We chat about using diagnostics in production specifically with middleware and ops teams, automated deployment of diagnostics configuration, continuous diagnostics and other tips for circumnavigating the politics of having diagnostics across the lifecycle. We cover some tips on working with profiling 3rd party components used by your application and systems internally or externally. And who would imagine that using diagnostics and monitoring together could help you bridge the gap between Dev and Ops. ...
  • Performance Diagnostics Part 1

    Mar 18, 2014 | 30 min
    Needle. Haystack. Go! Sometimes all we get from our load testing tools is a capture of the response times and throughput, and maybe some minimal resource monitoring if you're lucky. That means to actually see deeply into the application code as it is running, a diagnostics package can open that black-box to you, to find out exactly WHY the system is running slow. As you dig into the system under test you’ll be able to see exactly why the % CPU utilization is so high, and why so many bytes/sec are being pumped through the stack and exactly the SQL statements used by the database. In this Part 1 episode with our guest host and fellow performance guru Petar Puskarich, we'll chat about how to ge...
  • News of the Damned for 3-4-2014

    Mar 9, 2014 | 22 min
    It’s time for PerfBytes News of the Damned for March 4th, 2014, with our special founding father Carlos Chidiac. Websites are a crashin' like crazy around the world and special applause to the IT folks in the UK who are leading the pack in 2014 with outages! Fanatical figure skating fans, donut-luvin' brits and the on-premise melt-down at Marks & Spencer all join us this week. Bwaaahhaaahaahaaaaaaa!
  • Continuous Performance Testing

    Mar 9, 2014 | 42 min
    Automate. Rinse. Repeat. Every day at every hour and every minute there are developers writing code, committing code to the repo, building snapshots, checking out stuff, debugging it, profiling it and generally making things happen continuously. So, why not have performance testing be part of that continuous world? It’s a hot topic in this edition of PerfBytes where we are joined by our fellow pancake-loving co-originator Carlos Chidiac as we debate the value and pragmatics of integrating performance into your continuous integration and continuous delivery process automation. Don’t be scared by James’ Perf Rant about CPT, Agile & DevOps and Carlos who both agree that ‘Speed Kills’ when it co...
  • Next Generation Performance Tools

    Feb 21, 2014 | 39 min
    At some point after working in the same jobs for twenty years, you start to see a trend in the tools that you use every day. They have similar weaknesses, or similar features for sure, but one thing that you might not spend time considering is the gaps in those tools' capabilities. What if you were calling the shots for the future design and functionality for your favorite performance tool? In this episode we have a good and long chat about those kinds of ideas and features, also discussing some of the top movers and shakers in the industry. Join us again for the birthday episode of PerfBytes, complete with music and party toys! Episode formally sponsored by www.flood.io, check it out!
  • News of the Damned for 2-18-2014

    Feb 21, 2014 | 16 min
    It’s time for PerfBytes News of the Damned for February 18th, 2014 - this is the birthday edition edition of PerfBytes where basically we just make fun of the crashing online ticket websites in the UK, the Veterans Administration and some more high school students flood a website trying to get into college sports. Hats off again to the folks in the IT department giving Satan some true competition in the marketplace of darkness.
  • Performance Centers of Excellence

    Feb 7, 2014 | 34 min
    Being a performance tester is a lonely life. Stranded in the data center, working long nights in the freezing cold without anyone to talk to but the little running icon man in the LoadRunner Controller. But wait, you could start a Performance Center of Excellence! That way you could join forces with other performance testers and engineers at your company and then you’ll be part of a team. And you will have friends maybe for the first time in your life. In this episode of PerfBytes we’ll talk about the different things you need to know before you start consolidating tool licenses, establishing new processes, organizing your CoE and choosing a partner. We might just be scratching the surface o...
  • News of the Damned for 2-7-2014

    Feb 7, 2014 | 17 min
    It’s time for PerfBytes News of the Damned for February 7th, 2014 - this is the 2014 Super Bowl edition of PerfBytes. Some project managers from the big names in advertising are probably looking for new jobs this month after outages at Maserati, Kia and Esurance. And not to be outdone, information security mayhem sends a bunch of Germans scrambling to crash a website with a name that James can’t pronounce. Ausgezeichnete Aufmerksamkeit auf Tests von der Teufels Verwandten aus Deutschland!
  • News of the Damned for 1-27-2014

    Jan 27, 2014 | 14 min
    It'll be hard to forget this globally diverse episode covering fantastic outages from Canada, China and the UK. PerfBytes News of the Damned, where Satan heaps a heartfelt congratulations to those in the IT department who have been highlighted in the news recently for exemplary end-user punishment, website outage and system failure.
  • Dynamic Data Correlation

    Jan 27, 2014 | 33 min
    “You put your left boundary in, you put your left boundary out. You do the hokey pokey and you turn the script about.” Dynamic data correlations. (“...that’s what it’s all about”). In this episode of PerfBytes we cover the most technically complex and challenging part of load test scripting. James and I scratch the surface on this topic of transport level traffic analysis and automated scripting practices; the basic tips to help newcomers get started on the right foot. We help test managers understand the time requirements and learning curve for payload pattern mastery. You’ll learn just a few important tips to help you to master the art of dynamic data correlations. Episode formally sponsor...
  • News of the Damned for 1-07-2014

    Jan 7, 2014 | 11 min
    Welcome to the first PerfBytes News of the Damned independent podcast segment for January 1st, 2014. As usual, our introduction from Satan heaps a heartfelt congratulations to those in the IT department who have been highlighted in the news recently for exemplary website outage and system failures. In this episode both Myer and the Bill Nye join the News of the Damned.
  • Blame the Tool

    Jan 7, 2014 | 30 min
    ”Don’t look at me, boss - it’s a problem with the tool.” In particular it’s probably an incompatibility or extreme complexity with a sophisticated performance testing tool that leads you to just throw our hands in the air and point the finger at the vendor or the technology. In this episode we’ll talk about the pitfalls of such behavior, the legitimate and not-so-legitimate arguments of tool blasphemers and also what you can do as a test manager to resolve such situations. Episode formally sponsored by www.flood.io, check it out!
  • PerfBytes Year In Review 2013

    Dec 31, 2013 | 60 min
    Happy New Year PerfBytes listeners, this episode is dedicated to you! In this episode we review all the best items from the last twelve months of PerfBytes shows, including the #1 rated show, the best and weirdest News Of The Damned and a little bit of Prancercizing. We announce the PerfBytes Person of the Year for 2013 and the future changes to the show in 2014. Thank you all for listening and here's to prosperous pod-casting in the new year!
  • Virtual User Tips 'n Tricks Part 2

    Dec 17, 2013 | 69 min
    In this second of two episodes our friend and sponsor Tim Koopmans will be joining us again as we cover many of the virtual user scripting tips and tricks that we've learned over the many years of using almost every tool on the planet. This episode will review tips that dig a little deeper into debug logging, parameterizing test data, building scripts by hand and combining multiple protocols in your scripts. Then we cover some not-so-interesting Industry News, The News of The Damned, Ask PerfBytes and don't forget to check out the bonus tips we shared over on SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/perfbytes. This episode is formally sponsored by Flood.io (www.flood.io), so check it out!
  • Virtual User Tips 'n Tricks Part 1

    Dec 5, 2013 | 61 min
    Here's a suggestion: flip up that blast shield and tell old Obi Wan Kenobi to take a try at scripting up a headless driver to generate transport-layer traffic with data correlation, randomization and parameters that simulates thousands or even millions of calls against the system. It's not so easy even when you use the force, eh old man!? In this first of two episodes Tim Koopmans will be joining us as we cover many of the virtual user scripting tips and tricks that we've learned over the many years of using almost every tool on the planet. Starting with the creation of a usage model, scripting practices, commonly used functions and all sorts of great ideas to help you get the scripting perf...
  • It's the Frackin' Load Balancer

    Nov 19, 2013 | 70 min
    Back when I grew up in Minnesota we played a game called "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck where one my friends would run around the circle of all us kids and tap us on the head - around and around. It's basically the same way a load balancing algorithm works to enable horizontal scalability of large systems. Except that the load balancer would not randomly tap one of us and say Gray Duck and then go sprinting around to take our spot. That's not actually how node eviction works in clustering. In this episode of PerfBytes we are joined by our old friend Alon Girmonsky from Blazemeter to discuss the common challenges with modern load balancers; both software and hardware types. Dan Bartow gives a rant ab...
  • Mobile App and Device Performance

    Nov 5, 2013 | 71 min
    It's different for mobile. The variable resources like network and cpu, the limited space and screen size all force you to get your game on for mobile application performance. In this episode Ophir Prusak from Blazemeter.com joins us to discuss the bits that fly off your application as the rubber of your fat and lazy code hits the hard pavement of the device. James tries to laugh like Vincent Price and Mark reminds us about the European restrictions protecting nuisance birds. This episode of PerfBytes is formally sponsored by Flood.io (www.flood.io).
  • PerfBytes Live! at STPCON Fall 2013

    Oct 31, 2013 | 60 min
    It's time for PerfBytes LIVE! Please join us again at STPCON in October 2013 for a live broadcast recording of the PerfBytes podcast featuring your wildly banal hosts Mark Tomlinson and James Pulley. We are celebrating the one year anniversary of the PerfBytes podcast and this special episode will be broadcast LIVE from the STPCON conference and will include our coverage of the STPCON news, the performance year in review, the News of The Damned, industry headlines, extemporaneous speaking from actual performance testers and live Q&A with the members of the audience. Attendees in-person will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of PerfBytes shoes! As supporters of the Software Test Profess...
  • You Might Be A Performance Tester

    Oct 8, 2013 | 66 min
    Look in the mirror. Do you see someone who loves BBQ more than showering? Do you see someone wearing a wool cap and jacket just to keep warm while working in the datacenter? Can you say the word "No!" to a stakeholder? Do you know how many seconds there are in 1 day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there's a good chance that you are a performance tester. In this episode we explore the performance personality in the style of comedian Jeff Foxworthy. We chat also chat about Art Bell's underwater pyramids, supercomputers in Japan, bitcoins encrypted by drug dealers, the lessons learned (or not) by Healthcare.gov and of course the News of the Damned wouldn't be complete without a ...
  • Performance Test Planning

    Sep 25, 2013 | 73 min
    Performance left to the end of the project? Only two weeks on the schedule for doing load testing, regardless of the complexity or requirements? No qualified performance engineering talent assigned to the team? Sounds like you need a class called: Performance for Project Managers 101. This episode will cover all the common anti-patterns for performance project planning; scheduling, resources, tools, environments and objectives.
  • Storage Performance

    Sep 10, 2013 | 65 min
    What's the one thing in common with both hard drives and pizza? In this episode of PerfBytes we discuss yet another essential physical resource common to computer performance: the disk! Whether it's local hard drives, network attached storage, nfs, SAN array or flash SSD - the disks are a common bottleneck that can leave your application in a lurch; sluggish, slow and lifeless.
  • News Of The Damned

    Aug 27, 2013 | 66 min
    He's dead Jim. In the last 2 weeks of August 2013 there have been a nearly unbelievable number of system-wide outages at some of the world's largest internet service providers. Microsoft, Amazon, Google...almost everyone except Twitter found their systems lying face down in the mud recently. Even the NASDAQ and NYSE struggle to keep their shared server running in their "Neutral Zone" putting nearly six trillion trades at risk. Techno-guru John Curtis joins us for this entire episode dedicated to the News of The Damned. Satan admits to not being a hipster.
  • Everything You Forgot About Memory

    Aug 16, 2013 | 73 min
    Have you seen my car keys anywhere? The older we get the more we might tend to forget about the exciting topic of performance tuning for memory. We're talking about garbage collection, memory leaks and caching strategies. Special guest Scott Moore from Northway Solutions joins us for this whole episode from his home studio in Nashville, TN. The famous newborn Prince George is already crashing websites just as his mom does, as we cover Swaddle-geddon on the News of the Damned. James says the word kerfuffle, twice. Seriously, I swear I left my car keys right here in the studio on the desk.
  • Performance in DevOps

    Jul 30, 2013 | 61 min
    Continuous Deployment, plus Continuous Release might not quite equal Continuously High-Performing apps! As you might have heard, the developers and the ops guys got together and decided to start sharing tricks and secrets. They even figured out how to start doing each others' jobs! But where does performance fit in this highly-automated new paradigm for application development and release? Do you know what kind of beverage fits with DevOps? Do you have a tattoo?
  • Network Performance

    Jul 16, 2013 | 62 min
    Bellman asked Ford, "Do you know the way to San Jose?" More importantly, do you know how many hops it takes for your packet to get there? In this episode of PerfBytes we'll focus on the infrastructure that allows all the different components of your system to work together: the network. Understanding the essential sources of latency for what makes your network transfer slow, what causes congestion and how to measure the health of your network during a load test. Ping!
  • PerfBytes Live! July 4th, 2013

    Jul 4, 2013 | 100 min
    Live from PerfBytes' HQ in Monroe, NC - this is a special 4th of July edition of the show: including round-table discussion, interviews and questions and plenty of interjection from a drunk wookie.
  • Database Performance

    Jun 18, 2013 | 63 min
    If George Carlin were a DBA he might have said, "A [database] is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff" referring to your application's data. This episode of PerfBytes will review the basics of relational database performance, the core components of a database engine that are critical for good performance and how to avoid a few pitfalls in database design. Oh, you're about to conduct your first database performance test? Listen to a few tips on planning and how to monitor performance in the first few runs. Plus we read some PerfBytian emails in a new segment called the PerfBytes Inbox!
  • Performance Analysis

    Jun 4, 2013 | 65 min
    There's this thing between your ears called your brain. We're not joking about this, it's called your brain. If you really want to provide value to your team as a performance engineer, you need to start using your brain. This episode of PerfBytes will help you to understand the basic different types of analysis for performance with a few concrete examples. Mark rants about zombie performance testers, James cracks himself up about Prancercize, and oh yeah, get out that old calculator from college.
  • How To Survive Point Load

    May 23, 2013 | 61 min
    Whether it's planned or unexpected, a flood of traffic hammering any system can be a real shocker as the bits and pieces come crashing down around the ops team and the CIO stops by your desk "for a little chat" about what the hell just happened!? We hope this episode will give you some simple advice about how to be prepared technically and organizationally to cope with point load when it happens to you. In other words...this is how to not end up listed on the PerfBytes News of the Damned.
  • Mobile Performance Craziness

    May 7, 2013 | 62 min
    Our good friend and mobile gadget guru John Curtis from Black Falcon Consulting joins PerfBytes for a crazy conversation about mobile performance craziness. We chat about the true impact to your system performance caused by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and what you can do about it. John covers the marketing-simple ABC's for mobile performance and James offers up straight-ahead description of latch conditions due to high-latency mobile traffic. We wrap everything together into a deep-fried taco wrap in a tortilla for this Cinco de Mayo edition of La Radio PerfBytes. ¿Puedes oírme ahora?
  • PerfBytes Live! at STPCON Spring 2013

    Apr 25, 2013 | 61 min
    It's time for PerfBytes Live! Please join us at STPCON in April 2013 for a live broadcast recording of the PerfBytes podcast featuring your expertly equipped hosts Mark Tomlinson and James Pulley. This show will include our coverage of the STPCON news, current events, industry headlines, extemporaneous speaking from actual performance testers and live Q&A with the members of the audience. You might even win a pair of PerfBytes shoes! As supporters of the Software Test Professionals performance testing community, the PerfBytes podcast is powered by creative community-driven contributions and the overwhelming desire to improve performance testing practices across our industry. And pancakes.