Analytic modeling of multitier Internet applications

Bhuvan Urgaonkar, Giovanni Pacifici, Prashant Shenoy, Mike Spreitzer, Asser Tantawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Since many Internet applications employ a multitier architecture, in this article, we focus on the problem of analytically modeling the behavior of such applications. We present a model based on a network of queues where the queues represent different tiers of the application. Our model is sufficiently general to capture (i) the behavior of tiers with significantly different performance characteristics and (ii) application idiosyncrasies such as session-based workloads, tier replication, load imbalances across replicas, and caching at intermediate tiers. We validate our model using real multitier applications running on a Linux server cluster. Our experiments indicate that our model faithfully captures the performance of these applications for a number of workloads and configurations. Furthermore, our model successfully handles a comprehensive range of resource utilization - -from 0 to near saturation for the CPU - -for two separate tiers. For a variety of scenarios, including those with caching at one of the application tiers, the average response times predicted by our model were within the 95% confidence intervals of the observed average response times. Our experiments also demonstrate the utility of the model for dynamic capacity provisioning, performance prediction, bottleneck identification, and session policing. In one scenario, where the request arrival rate increased from less than 1500 to nearly 4200 requests/minute, a dynamic provisioning technique employing our model was able to maintain response time targets by increasing the capacity of two of the tiers by factors of 2 and 3.5, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalACM Transactions on the Web
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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