Once you get a good set of skills in system administration, or managing your application services, it’s a good idea to dive deeper into Linux’s many facets, particularly how you can tune and tweak performance of your systems.

One of my favorite guides for this is an IBM RedPaper, (IBM has RedBooks which are book or manual-sized treatments of technical topics, so therefore a whitepaper-sized set of content would then be a Red… well, you get the idea), called “Linux Performance and Tuning Guidelines“.

This is a very informative document, including such details as:

  • The lifecycyle of a process
  • How threads are created and what they contain
  • The Linux Memory Architecture
  • Linux File Systems
  • I/O and Networking Subsystems
  • Performance Metrics

The guide goes on to show you the monitoring tools available to all Linux distros, some benchmarking tools, how to analyze performance bottlenecks and how to tune the operating system to reduce those bottlenecks.

Seriously useful and highly recommended read for anyone who is responsible for a Linux system.