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Preface > What Is This Book Good For?

What Is This Book Good For?

This book is good for improving web site performance, estimating web site hardware and software requirements, and clarifying scaling issues. It covers client and network issues as well as server-side issues, because many web sites are on intranets, where a system administrator has control over the client and network, as well as the server. While most web performance discussion centers on the HTTP server, the server itself is not usually the performance bottleneck; rather, client connection speed, dynamic content generation, and database performance are. To improve performance, we must also look at these and other issues.

The performance I care about is from the end user’s point of view: how quickly the Web satisfies the user’s request. There are other kinds of performance, such as throughput, but this book focuses mainly on the user’s perception of speed. I have also included a chapter on reliability, which is yet another kind of performance.


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