Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

Everything about Web and Network Monitoring

This Week in Website Performance

website-performance-weekly-monitorusThis Week in Website Performance is a weekly feature on the Monitor.Us blog. Each week we present you handpicked links on different aspects of website performance. This issue of our weekly mostly covers topics related to Database Performance issues, however not limiting by just database performance issues.

Data compression in InnoDB for text and blob fields

Author: Michael Coburn.  Publisher: MySql Performance Blog.This article shows how to compress some columns in an InnoDB table while leaving others uncompressed by using the Barracuda file format.

Binary log file size matters (sometimes)

Author: Aurimas Mikalauskas.  Publisher: Percona.This article shows that the size of the binary log file can cause a 1-2 second delay every 15 minutes (others may vary) because the &LOCK_log mutex is held while old binary log files are removed. On some systems, file deletion can take a relatively long time.

Improving ASP.NET Performance Part 1: Code Access Security

Author: Ard-Jan Barnas.  Publisher: Paid Monitor.This article is the first in a series about optimizing ASP.NET code. It explains the architecture and discusses the main coding-related issues that affect performance. It doesn’t go into a lot of depth, but perhaps that’s what the rest of the series is for.

The growing epidemic of page bloat

Author: Joshua Bixby.  Publisher: GigaOm.This article underscores the importance of the web performance tip that says we should reduce the size of our web pages. It notes that the average size of a web page now exceeds 1 MB, up almost 50% in the past 18 months. The main culprits are said to be images, third party content, and “our insatiable desire for richer, more dynamic content.” [When commenters point out that the web page carrying this article is 1,220 lines of code in 93 scripts, totalling 1.6 MB (for 680 words), GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham replies, “The irony of running this article on our particularly overladen pages is not lost on us.”]

Understanding TMG Web Caching Concepts and Architectures

Author: Deb Shinder.  Publisher: in-depth tutorial introduces forward caching and reverse caching, and shows how they can use less bandwidth. It ends with a description of several web caching protocols: Cache Array Routing Protocol (CARP), Internet Cache Protocol (ICP), HyperText Caching Protocol (HTCP), Cache Digests, and Web Cache Coordination Protocol (WCCP). Although focused on the TMG firewall, the concepts presented apply elsewhere, too.

8 Free Tools for Testing Website Speed

Author: Richard Holbrook.Like the title says, this article lists eight free tools that help us optimize our website’s performance: PageSpeed Online, Load Impact, Neustar Web Performance, WebPageTest, Octagate Site Timer, pingdom,, and Show Slow. Minimal commentary. Links are provided. One glaring oversight, though: Paid Monitor’ Page Load Testing Tool is missing from the list.

Measuring System Performance on a Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010 Firewall (Part 1)

Author: Richard Hicks.  Publisher: tutorial shows how to use perfmon.exe from the Windows performance monitor to systematically collect data from and evaluate the performance of the four main computing subsystems – CPU, memory, network, and disk – when using the TMG gateway.

Web Application Testing Challenges

Author: Laura Strassman.  Publisher: Compuware.This article reflects on an informal survey conducted at a recent conference, which showed that “many testers are using tools that are not able to meet their testing challenges.” Sample size is not provided, so statistical significance is unknown. However, if you keep up with website performance discussions, you will find some food for thought here.

MySQL Cluster 7.2: Over 8x Higher Performance than Cluster 7.1

Author: Mat Keep.  Publisher: Oracle.This article describes some of 7.2’s features that helped it improve performance over 7.1.

Performance Testing of MySQL Cluster: The flexAsynch Benchmark

Author: Mat Keep.  Publisher: Oracle.This article describes the flexAsynch benchmark, which was used to benchmark MySQL Cluster 7.2 at 1.2 billion updates per minute.

Douglas Crawford’s 2012.05.24 Post at Google

Author: Douglas Crawford.”I am now working at PayPal.” That’s all it says.
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About Warren Gaebel

Warren wrote his first computer program in 1970 (yes, it was Fortran).  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo and his Bachelor of Computer Science degree at the University of Windsor.  After a few years at IBM, he worked on a Master of Mathematics (Computer Science) degree at the University of Waterloo.  He decided to stay home to take care of his newborn son rather than complete that degree.  That decision cost him his career, but he would gladly make the same decision again. Warren is now retired, but he finds it hard to do nothing, so he writes web performance articles for the Monitor.Us blog.  Life is good!