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Automatic Performance Tuning of CentOS/RHEL Servers
Servers play a vital role in smooth functioning of any organization's IT infrastructure. They are responsible for hosting critical applications, databases, and other services. Hence, it is essential to ensure that servers are configured optimally for maximum performance and reliability. However, performance tuning can be a time-consuming and complex task that requires a high level of expertise. In this article, we will discuss automatic performance tuning of CentOS/RHEL servers.
What is Performance Tuning?
Performance tuning is process of optimizing performance of a system by adjusting various parameters and settings. In context of server performance tuning, it involves tweaking settings such as CPU utilization, memory usage, disk I/O, network throughput, and application-specific settings.
Why Automatic Performance Tuning?
Performance tuning can be a challenging task that requires a high level of expertise. Administrators need to have an in-depth understanding of system's architecture, hardware, and software to optimize its performance fully. Even experienced administrators may overlook critical performance optimization settings or spend an enormous amount of time tuning system. Automatic performance tuning can help administrators optimize system performance efficiently and quickly.
Automatic Performance Tuning Techniques
Here are some techniques for automatic performance tuning of CentOS/RHEL servers −
The Linux kernel is core of CentOS/RHEL operating system, and it plays a crucial role in system's performance. Kernel tuning involves adjusting various kernel parameters to improve system's performance. Automatic kernel tuning tools such as tuned-adm and kernel-tweaks can help administrators optimize kernel for system's workload. For example, if system is primarily used for database workloads, administrator can use database profile in tuned-adm to optimize kernel for database performance.
CPU tuning involves adjusting various CPU-related parameters to optimize CPU usage and performance. Automatic CPU tuning tools such as cpufreq and tuned-adm can help administrators optimize CPU performance. For example, if system has multiple CPU cores, administrator can use ondemand governor in cpufreq to adjust CPU frequency dynamically based on workload.
Memory tuning involves adjusting various memory-related parameters to optimize memory usage and performance. Automatic memory tuning tools such as tuned-adm and numad can help administrators optimize memory performance. For example, if system has NUMA architecture, administrator can use numad to optimize memory access across NUMA nodes.
Disk I/O Tuning
Disk I/O tuning involves adjusting various disk-related parameters to optimize disk I/O performance. Automatic disk I/O tuning tools such as tuned-adm and iotop can help administrators optimize disk I/O performance. For example, if system has a high disk I/O workload, administrator can use deadline or CFQ scheduler in tuned-adm to prioritize disk I/O requests.
Network tuning involves adjusting various network-related parameters to optimize network throughput and performance. Automatic network tuning tools such as tuned-adm and ethtool can help administrators optimize network performance. For example, if system has a high network throughput workload, administrator can use receive packet steering (RPS) feature in ethtool to distribute network traffic across multiple CPU cores.
Benefits of Automatic Performance Tuning
Here are some benefits of automatic performance tuning of CentOS/RHEL servers −
Automatic performance tuning can help administrators optimize system performance quickly and efficiently. It can help identify and adjust critical system settings that affect system performance, such as CPU, memory, disk I/O, and network settings.
Automatic performance tuning can help identify and fix performance issues before they become critical. It can help prevent system downtime due to performance issues, thereby improving system availability.
Automatic performance tuning can help increase system scalability. By optimizing system's performance, it can handle larger workloads without compromising system stability and performance.
Automatic performance tuning can save administrators a lot of time and effort. It eliminates need for manual performance tuning, which can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Administrators can focus on other critical tasks while system automatically tunes itself.
Examples of Automatic Performance Tuning Tools
Here are some examples of automatic performance tuning tools for CentOS/RHEL servers −
Tuned-adm is a system tuning daemon that automatically adjusts various system settings based on workload profiles. It supports various profiles, including database, virtualization, and network throughput. Tuned-adm also allows administrators to create custom profiles based on their specific workload requirements.
Cpufreq is a Linux kernel feature that allows adjusting CPU frequency dynamically based on workload. It supports various CPU governors, including ondemand, conservative, and performance. Administrators can use cpufreq to optimize CPU performance and power consumption.
Numad is a daemon that optimizes memory access across NUMA nodes. It automatically detects system's NUMA topology and optimizes memory allocation based on workload. Numad can help improve system performance, especially for applications that require large memory usage.
Iotop is a command-line utility that displays real-time disk I/O usage. It can help administrators identify applications that are causing high disk I/O usage and adjust system settings accordingly. Iotop can also help prevent system performance degradation due to high disk I/O usage.
Ethtool is a command-line utility that allows administrators to configure and monitor network interfaces. It supports various features, including link speed and duplex settings, receive packet steering, and flow control. Ethtool can help optimize network performance and throughput.
Automatic performance tuning can help administrators optimize CentOS/RHEL servers' performance quickly and efficiently. It eliminates need for manual performance tuning, which can be a time-consuming and challenging task. By optimizing critical system settings, automatic performance tuning can improve system performance, availability, and scalability. Various automatic performance tuning tools, such as tuned-adm, cpufreq, numad, iotop, and ethtool, are available for CentOS/RHEL servers. Administrators can use these tools to optimize system performance based on their specific workload requirements.
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