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Part IV: Design and Deployment > Network Performance, Latency,and Concurrency

Chapter 17. Network Performance, Latency,and Concurrency

In many science fiction stories, people talk with each other across astronomical distances as though they were in the same room. The technology never gets in the way. Computer networks do not work that way. They have real physical limitations. Software developers who ignore the problems of building network-enabled communication applications risk alienating their users. Let's consider some examples.

A university professor holds an online seminar with students at a number of remote locations. One student logs in using a dial-up modem over a low-quality telephone line. By default, the application attempts to send the student video and audio from each of the other participants and to have the student send video and audio to everyone else. The result is immensely frustrating to everyone. The student's connection is so saturated with video and audio data that nothing seems to work. Phone calls asking the student to turn off video do not help.


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