Report Number: CS-TR-86-1117
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: An Empirical Study of Distributed Application Performance
Author: Lantz, Keith
Author: Nowicki, William
Author: Theimer, Marvin
Date: October 1985
Abstract: A major reason for the rarity of distributed applications, despite the proliferation of networks, is the sensitivity of their performance to various aspects of the network environment. We demonstrate that distributed applications can run faster than local ones, using common hardware. We also show that the primary factors affecting performance are, in approximate order of importance: speed of the user's workstation, speed of the remote host (if any), and the high-level (above the transport level) protocols used. In particular, the use of batching pipelining, and structure in high-level protocols reduces the degradation often experienced between different bandwidth networks. Less significant, but still noticeable improvements result from proper design and implementation of underlying transport protocols. Ultimately, with proper application of these techniques, network bandwidth is rendered virtually insignificant.