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Bosco Noronha
Bosco Noronha

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Latency vs Throughput

From CMU Parallel Computer Architecture and Programming Course

Latency: Elapsed time of an event.

eg. Walking from point A to B takes one minute, the latency is one minute.

Throughput: The number of events that can be executed per unit of time.

eg. Bandwidth is a measure of throughput.

We can increase bandwidth to improve throughput but it wont improve latency.

Take the RPC case — There are two components to latency of message communication in a distributed system, the first component is the hardware overhead and the second component is the software overhead.

The hardware overhead is dependent on how the network is interfaced with the computer, this is managed mostly by the network controller.

How do we reduce the software overhead? That’s a question every product owner needs to ask themselves to improve their product.

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