Official course description:
Full info last published 23/11-20

Computer Systems Performance

Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price (single subject):
10625 DKK (incl. vat)
MSc. Master
MSc in Computer Science
Course manager
Associate Professor
PhD student (4+4, part 1)
Associate Professor
Course semester
Forår 2021
1 February 2021
14 May 2021
Exam type
intern censur
Grade Scale
Exam Language

In this course, you will learn how to evaluate the performance of a computer system.

The course combines a focus on low-level system components (hardware, operating system, etc.) with the analysis of complex data systems.


In a world that requires near-instant response times and increasingly faster access to very large volumes of business-critical data, delays cost money.

Data scientists expect high-performance from their data systems in order to reduce time to insight.

Software and DevOps engineers are expected to continuously improve the performance of IT systems.

Oftentimes, performance profiles can uncover the effects of design or implementation bugs.

In this class, students will learn how to design and conduct performance experiments and how to troubleshoot existing complex data systems.

Formal prerequisites
Students should have taken introductory courses on database systems and operating systems, and should be familiar with C or C++ and Java programming.
Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Design and conduct performance evaluation experiments
  • Formulate hypothesis about the causes of poor performance across different layers of a data system’s stack (i.e., data management components, operating system, file system, network, hardware).
  • Select appropriate set of tools for troubleshooting performance problems.
  • Analyze the performance of a complex real-world data system.
Learning activities

The course is composed of lectures and exercise sessions. The lectures will cover fundamental aspects of various systems components such as operating systems, storage systems, processors, data systems, etc. The exercises will introduce tools and methodology for troubleshooting and performance analysis. Students will also work on a project during the semester, which they will be doing a presentation on later in the semester.

Mandatory activities

The students are expected to give a presentation on their project work, which will take place toward the end of the semester. The presentation itself is the mandatory activity for this course. It will be individual.

The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.

Course literature

The relevant literature will be provided on LearnIT every week.

Student Activity Budget
Estimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
  • Preparation for lectures and exercises: 10%
  • Lectures: 25%
  • Exercises: 25%
  • Project work, supervision included: 20%
  • Exam with preparation: 20%
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, Internal (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
D22: Submission with following oral exam supplemented by the submission.

Time and date
Ordinary Exam - submission Mon, 31 May 2021, 08:00 - 14:00
Ordinary Exam Mon, 14 Jun 2021, 09:00 - 20:55
Ordinary Exam Tue, 15 Jun 2021, 09:00 - 20:55
Reexam - submission Wed, 14 Jul 2021, 08:00 - 14:00
Reexam Tue, 24 Aug 2021, 09:00 - 20:55