The Buzz About Guerrilla Training

1  What Guerrilla graduates are saying

Ben House — DevOps Engineer, DNC (2021):
Thoroughly enjoyed @DrQz's Guerrilla Capacity and Performance (GCAP) class over the past two weeks. Finally have a framework to apply Little's Law, the Universal Scalability Law, and queuing theory. More tools in the toolbox and a tactical way to use them!
Sharath Sivakumar — Rakuten, India (2021):
Graduated from the Guerrilla Boot Camp (GBOOT) class online and also got started on the Guerrilla capacity planning book. Thank you Neil Gunther for the amazing training and exceptional insights on virtualization and queueing theory.
Muhammad Azad — Microsoft (2021):
I highly recommend Dr. Gunther's training for practitioners who are looking to develop an intuitive yet profoundly insightful and practical understanding of Little's Law and queuing theory. It'll give you a superpower that'll last for the rest of your career.
Wassim Dhib — LeadWire, France (2020):
I now apply the USL (Universal Scalability Law) whenever the opportunity arises. It really changed my way of doing performance testing.
Rob Franolic — DinerBytes, UK (2020):
Neil has a great deal of experience, and he offers unique perspectives on performance and capacity planning. I attended his PDQW workshop online and gained a good understanding of queuing theory and how it applies to all computing systems. Using his PDQ toolkit we learnt how to quickly get a more fundamental understanding of the performance of any system.
Annie F. — Intel Corp. (2020):
Dr Gunther answered questions that had haunted me for years. He enabled a visceral understanding of systems behavior with sufficient mathematics. Not too much, not too little. I have been practicing systems performance analysis for 20 years, and the knowledge and understanding I gained from him is the booster fuel that takes me to a next level of the craft. For those of you who love systems but are mathematically handicapped, take this class. For those of you asking such deep questions as, "Why can most systems be modeled with a Poisson distribution?" and, "What inner natural process makes them random?", take this class. For those of you hitting a mid-career crisis on queuing theory (but know enough to know that you don’t know enough), take this class. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from him. I cannot wait to apply everything I have learnt.
Rodrigo Nascimento — NetApp (2019):
Completed the Online Guerrilla Capacity and Performance training with @DrQz. I’ve learned so much about queueing theory and Little’s Law, and the Universal Scalability Law frameworks in past two weeks, it's totally changed the way I look at performance data.
Ruslan Rusu —, USA (2019):
Blown away by queueing theory and PDQ. You get instant feedback for topology and optimization changes. It will help you discard bad ideas before writing the code. I even made "PDQtoGo" to make it more accessible.
Rudy Gevaert — Universiteit Gent, Belgium (2018):
Dr. Gunther has tons of experience and during his GCAP class he shares it freely. He takes you on a long journey, through woods filled with queueing models, under bridges of concave USL graphs and up mountains of exponential functions. Nonetheless, he never loses sight of applicability as the destination. Dr. Gunther also takes the time to make sure you fully understand the topics discussed. His storytelling is unique, which means you will learn much more than what you signed up for. He makes sure he finds the right angle to get the message across. The slides and accompanying books are excellent reference works that should be on the shelf of any system administrator. As well as being a formal teacher, Dr. Gunther is also a welcoming host who goes the extra mile for his students.
Mohit Chawla — Germany (2017):
It was gratifying to learn about the tools and techniques of data reduction and visualisation for performance analysis in GDAT class, more so when understood in the context of the capacity planning concepts taught in GCAP training. I also liked the way those two classes came together; especially the insight that although real computer systems have correlations, those correlations are often weak and therefore we can happily apply the exponential distribution as assumed in PDQ models. Dr. Gunther also knows about the secret behind the success of Edwin Hubble (more than a scatterplot) and Gregor Mendel (more than the 30,000 experiments), which lies outside pure science. Find out more in the classes!
Jeff Pickett — Covance (2016):
If you are involved with performance monitoring, analyzing performance, capacity planning, and performance prediction, I highly recommend any of these courses. If you are serious about performance and capacity management, then you will be equipped with everything you need (and much more) to thrive in all things performance and provide enterprise and business value.
Joe Williams — GitHub (2015):
I really enjoyed participating in the GCAP class, it was very helpful to get hands on with the techniques I had previously read about. While it took me a few years to find an employer that would send me to the class it was well worth the wait. Neil is a thoughtful instructor and I hope to take the GDAT class at some point. He also happens to pick great lunch spots during the week.
Mimi Parsons — Expedia (2014):
Excellent training, well organized. Large amount of material was presented in an understandable format. Dr Gunther found ways of explaining abstract concepts in a simple way, providing best conceptual practices.
Mike Brunt — (2013):
After 15 years in server performance-tuning; I learned more in 5 days.
Mark Cwetna — Schwab (2013):
It was a profound honor to attend your Guerrilla Data Analysis Techniques (GDAT) class this past week.  I can't think of enough accolades to describe your level of commitment to education, your in-depth knowledge of performance technologies, analysis techniques and your infectious desire to instill quality in every word/idea.  In my lifetime you are one of the rarest breeds of educators that I've ever had the good fortune to have experienced.  I now have the confidence, tools and educational prowess to go forth and spread the good word.  From the depths of my being I offer you my profound gratitude for sharing your knowledge with me.  I will do my best to honor you and the field of capacity and performance to the best of my abilities.
Maulan Byron — Comcast (2013):
The GCAP class is frankly the best performance class I have attended. The first 2 days alone were worth the price of admission. It was focussed and detailed with very relevant examples. I'll be back for the GData class.
Joshua Jin — Database Architect (2012):
The Guerrilla Capacity Planning (GCAP) class is a fantastic class. Dr. Gunther has a unique ability explaining the complex Queuing theory in such way that we all can comprehend without much difficulties.  He taught the class with passion. After attending the training, I feel that his book contents are much easier to read. To enhance the learning, Dr. Gunther demonstrated using Queuing Networks and solving PDQ problems in R.  For IT capacity professionals, this class prepares you with knowledge, insight, and tools to be successful.  It is highly recommended!
Arun Kejariwal — Netflix (2012):
I enrolled to Neil's Guerrilla Data Analysis (GDAT) class based on the recommendation of my colleagues at work. The discussion about USL and queuing models apply to various scenarios was insightful. The discussion about Guftanson Trend and how it compares to Amdahl's Law was interesting. Last but not the least, I learned about new ways of data visualization. The fact that Neil shares his scripts is a big plus.
Greg Rogers — Schwab (2011):
The fractal analysis of ORACLE query times in the Guerrilla Data Analytics (GDAT) class was awesome. It, along with Principal Components Analysis and Machine Learning, were worth the price of admission!
Gary Little — NetApp (2011):
Putting together a trip report about recent GBOOT and GCAP performance training. I'd forgotten how enjoyable it was. Thanks @DrQz  [You're welcome. 1  —njg ]
Asa Hendrick — SunTrust Bank (2011):
If your looking for training that will challenge your presumptions and help you to think in new ways, Guerrilla Capacity Planning (GCAP) is an excellent choice. In short, Dr. Gunther provided an excellent foundation and a new perspective that will improve my effectiveness as a Capacity and Performance engineer.
Thyya Ung — CoreLogic (2011):
It was an eye opening learning experience taking your class.
Glenn Lockwood — U.S. Cellular (2010):
I especially enjoyed the first-hand war stories that make the GDAT lessons come alive. The progression of topics was brilliant. I found myself pondering questions about digital filters and neural nets as analysis tools only to find the topics covered subsequently. Even the coverage of significant digits and rounding applies to current problems I am asked to provide leadership and guidance on as a software engineer.
Henry Colonna — Quest Diagnostics (2010):
Having taken your Guerrilla Data Analysis Techniques course I understand the beauty of mathematics and statistics in resolving complex capacity and performance issues. Your course provides a baseline in developing capacity reporting that is meanful to senior management. Also, I have R as a new tool in my arsenal to assist me.
Ben Krein — (2010):
Recovering from a week at Guerrilla Capacity Planning. Thanks again for the excellent and challenging class!
Carl Davis — Oracle (2009):
The Guerrilla Capacity Planning class was by far the best technical class I have been to. Dr Gunther made the class interesting by telling war stories from his many years in the business and as a leader in the field of capacity planning. I would strongly advise taking this class. There is no substitute for getting the knowledge from the true expert in the field. I can't wait to put this knowledge to practice. I look forward to take more classes from Dr Gunther.
Joshua Barratt — Media Temple (2009):
Even though I have over 10 years of practical experience building and running production systems, I left this class with a much deeper understanding of how, fundamentally, to analyze questions of performance, scale, and capacity. I got some practical skills that I was able to apply during the week of the class itself, as well as a good introduction to a family of tools (like PDQ and R) that, while they'll take some time to master, are already proving useful.
Bryan Le — IBM (2009):
This course was outstanding. i really like the way he laid out the concepts and gave examples of how to apply the concepts from his own consultant experiences. I also like the model approach to performance management and capacity planning.
Greg Smyth — Facebook (2009):
Great course, I'll never look at certain graphs in the same way again!
Mark Monaghan — Terraprova (2009):
When I am rummaging about in the bowels of systems, in a never ending test/measure/tweak/tear at my few remaining hairs cycle in pursuit of maximum performance, it is difficult to remember that a view from a bit further back might be in order. The GCaP class was refreshingly practical and presented techniques and concepts that will be useful in determining where to focus my efforts and provide clients and management with information that can be readily grasped by all but the densest nudniks. And let us not forget the Universal Scalability Law. This in itself is worth the price of admission. Throw in the never ending flow of calories and the very relevant anecdotes and what you have is an informative and enjoyable week that far surpasses any other industry class I have attended.
Joe Lenart — AETNA (2009):
I thought your Guerrilla Capacity Planning class was highly insightful and full of great techniques that I can apply immediately within my occupation as a Capacity Planner. Your real-life examples and anecdotes have not only awakened my mind to what to look for in situations that may be crucial in quickly identifying capacity-related problems, but they were entertaining enough that I expect the benefit of your experience will stick with me for a long time to come. Your simplified, yet mathematically accurate equations (as you proved to us in class) were much easier to understand and apply to real workplace situations than much of the Ph.D thesis-level examples in other books. As a result they are tools that will help me improve my understanding of complex architectures and to better support them in short order. I have already talked to my management about coming back for your follow-up course, and have also spoken to the manager of our Performance Lab, as I believe the techniques that you outline will be useful in helping my team to work with them to design better application performance tests. Thanks for your time and insights. I look forward to attending Guerilla Capacity Planning—The Sequel.
Stefan Parvu — Sun Microsystems/Nokia, Finland (2008):
The GCAP class is highly recommended to any System Administrator or System Service management personnel. Finally there is a class not about a software product in particular but about concepts and methodologies of what is Performance Analysis and Capacity Planning. Simple applied to our todays economy the GCaP is a must for anyone involved in Capacity Planning and Performance Analysis. GCaP served me as an example in building System Data Recorder, a proof of concept around GCaP, which helps you look to your data center: analyzing certain workloads, consolidate where is the case, ultimate saving energy.
Vladimir Begun — Oracle (2008):
"We are the champions, ...." [quoting the Queen song in the context of Go forth and Kong-ka!]. Seriously, it (Guerrilla Boot Camp) was great! I really like how you approach the issues; simplicity but not over-simplification. The examples from your own experience are real gems in the "crown" of the class. You know one cannot learn how to manage people from a person who never managed a company and achieved something. That's why I picked your class. When one wants to learn something he should go not just for the information but from the right person as well. Very good atmosphere, a clear and horizon-expanding presentation of actual experiences in the capacity planning. About right for a jump-start! Eager to attend the Level II class.
Tim McCluskey — Independent (2008):
This (Guerrilla Boot Camp) course was excellent! A very practical approach to performance analysis, with real-world examples. Neil does an outstanding job getting the material across with the utmost of simplicity. I recommend this class to anyone who wants to gain the basics skills necessary for capacity and performance management. I look forward to attending his other courses.
Scott Roberts — UPS (2008):
Your work hits a fundamental truth; you're absolutely right in that most capacity planning systems cost far too much and are too complex for current development and implementation cycles. Using your methods I've developed a new capacity planning workflow using Excel and Perl::PDQ which saves a few months of work each year.
Scott Christensen — MBA, PMP (2007):
Thank you for providing such a great class on Capacity Planning. I am still thinking how great of a class it was. The class is by far the best class that I have had, including previous capacity planning courses. Having previously studied physical science, the connection of modeled data to physical models proves to be very useful. Your choice of accommodations and geographic proximity is excellent.
Paul Puglia — Merrill Lynch (2006):
Guerilla Capacity Planning (GCAP) is one of the best courses I've taken.
Moses Chu — Kaiser Permanente (2006):
After I come back (from the class), I have attended a 12 hours long Data Center project through the past weekend. After the work, I thought about the theory and practice you have shared from your past years experience. I would call this class a total value for Capacity planners. The experience that you shared is particular worthwhile and eye opening. I want to thank you for hosting such a event.
Paul Cao — Hewlett-Packard (2006):
It's one of the best training classes I ever had (it's number one on my list).
Henry Colonna — Quest Diagnostics (2006):
In general, it was a great course that provided a lot of information I needed to report response time numbers. Also, It provided a lot of information too how the capacity tool that I use works internally. I am looking forward to start to use PDQ to produce refined models and use it with my present toolset. (ps, I went to the grocery store this week and discovered that I will never look at a grocery line the same again!!) ... Thanks.
Allen Blackburn — IBM (2004):
I'd like to thank you again for the class. I really learned a lot! I was so excited to get back and try out the MVRA ('noisy fingers') that I immediately started working on a script to collect the 6 different types of data.
Stuart Plotkin — MetLife (2004):
Thanks a lot for the class, it was really great. I think it was brilliant how your were able to zero in on key concepts and drill them in to our heads.
Greg Rogers — Compaq (2001):
I definitely learned performance and CP methods I'd not previously encountered, from the Guerilla Capacity Planning class.
Ken Ward — Sprint (2000):
I found your 'Guerilla Capacity Planning' course to be the most in-depth and interesting of all similar courses I've attended over the years and, I continue to be impressed with your follow-up emails and information.
Jeff and Eric — NetGain (1998):
Thank you for the great instruction. We are already applying it. In thanks, we thought you might enjoy this book ( The Goal via ... it's about bottleneck indentification and adaption in a factory floor 2 and a bit of a love story.
Irwin Kraus — Amdahl Corp. (1995):
Useful? Are you kidding? Your treatment is by far the clearest and most pragmatic I have ever seen.

2  Attribution lost to the mists of time


1Gary might be waxing a little too modest here. No doubt he enjoyed it, at least in part, because he contributed a lot to the class with some very interesting questions and observations. Some of which I've yet to blog about.
2As much as I deeply appreciate receiving gifts from students, I had trouble appreciating the merits of this book. I simply cannot understand how the author can take 140 pages (out of 340) to begin explaining something as simple as the bottleneck concept. It's the process (in manufacturing and computing) with the longest service demand. Sorry guys.

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On 31 May 2021, 06:02.