Hotsos Symposium Speaker – Neil Gunther

Neil Gunther is a returning Hotsos Symposium presenter.


Neil GuntherNeil J. Gunther, M.Sc., Ph.D., is an internationally known performance researcher and consultant who founded Performance Dynamics Company in 1994. He is the author of 3 books and many technical papers and presentations on performance analysis and capacity planning. Dr. Gunther received the prestigious A.A. Michelson Award from CMG in 2008, and was elected a senior member of both ACM and IEEE in 2009.

Presentation Title

Brooks, Cooks and Response Time Scalability


Successful database scaling to meet service level objectives (SLO) requires converting standard Oracle performance data into a form suitable for cost-benefit comparison, otherwise you are likely to be groping in the dark or simply relying on someone else's scalability recipes. Creating convenient cost-benefit comparisons is the purpose of the Universal Scalability Law (USL), which I have previously presented using transaction throughput measurements as the appropriate performance metric. However, Oracle AWR and OWI data are largely based on response time metrics rather than throughput metrics.

In this presentation, I will show you how the USL can be applied to response time data. A surprising result is that the USL contains Brooks' law, which is essentially a variant of the old too-many-cooks adage: hiring more cooks at the last minute to ensure the meal is prepared on time can cause the preparation to take longer. From the standpoint of the USL, this kind of delay inflation arises from two unique interactions in the kitchen: group conferences and têtê-á-têtês between the experienced cooks and the rookie cooks. Replace cooks with Oracle average active sessions (AAS) and similar response-time inflation can impact your database SLOs. The USL reveals this effect in a numerical way for easier analysis.

Examples of applying the USL to Oracle performance data will be used to examine Brooks' law and underlying concepts of such as delay, wait, latency, averages and response time percentiles.

Presentation Materials

Presentation materials are available online to attendees only.


The speaker schedule is as follows: