As the usage of online systems has increased over the past few years, so has the need for maintaining appropriate levels of responsiveness of these systems. Measuring online system responsiveness for tuning, sizing, or debugging purposes can be improved by using stimulus-generation techniques. To date, these techniques have been complex and expensive. This report describes an analysis technique for tuning online systems which combines the advantages of natural and artificial system loading. desk-top-size hardware tool--the RAND Monitor/Stimulus-Generator (RMS)--was developed and built to employ the analysis procedures. The RMS inserts one preselected command into the natural work stream repeatedly, and records the resulting response times. Application of this technique has provided valuable insights into the operation of online systems.
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