Predicting Performance in a PaaS Environment: a Case Study for a Web Application


  • Wojciech Rząsa Rzeszow University of Technology



performance, simulation, distributed application, web, Petri nets, TCPN


This paper demonstrates how the combination of simulation and real-world experiments can be used to aid decisions concerning the performance of a distributed application. It presents a case study of performance analysis carried out for a commercial application implementing a web-based API server for mobile clients. The application was deployed on the Heroku cloud-based Platform as a Service (PaaS). The analysis described in this paper provided information required to choose the proper configuration of resources for the software. Simulation was used in the research to identify factors crucial to the performance of the application. This allowed for the preparation of basic experiments concentrating on these factors. Consequently, the basic parameters of resources crucial for the efficiency of the application could be benchmarked at insignificant cost and effort. This approach allows us to reliably aid decisions concerning resource configuration for an analyzed application. The simulation method used in this research is based on the formalism of Timed Colored Petri Nets, but the complexity of formal modeling is hidden from its users. Application developers are able to conveniently create a high-level model of their designs and perform simulations, while the reliability of the results is ensured by the formalism. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of the simulation method for analyzing real-world distributed systems.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Wojciech Rząsa, Rzeszow University of Technology

Wojciech Rząsa received MSc and PhD in computer
science at AGH University of Science and Technology in
Krakow (Poland) in 2003 and 2011, respectively. He has
been working as an assistant professor in the Depart-
ment of Computer and Control Engineering at Rzeszow
University of Technology. His research concentrates on
Petri nets and modeling distributed computer systems,
with the main goal of efficiency evaluation.


Adve V., Bagrodia R., Browne J., Deelman E., Dube A., Houstis E., Rice J., Sakellariou R., Sundaram-Stukel D., Teller P., Vernon M.: POEMS: end-to-end performance design of large parallel adaptive computational systems. Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 26(11), pp. 1027–1048, 2000.

Ataş G., Gungor V.C.: Performance evaluation of cloud computing platforms using statistical methods. Computers & Electrical Engineering, vol. 40(5), 13 marca 2017 str. 16/19 36 Wojciech Rząsa pp. 1636–1649, 2014,

Badia R.M., Escalé F., Gabriel E., Gimenez J., Keller R., Labarta J., Müller M.S.: Performance Prediction in a Grid Environment. In: F. Fernández Rivera, M. Bubak, A. Gómez Tato, R. Doallo, eds., Grid Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 2970, pp. 257–264, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2004,

Binnig C., Kossmann D., Kraska T., Loesing S.: How is the Weather Tomorrow?: Towards a Benchmark for the Cloud. In: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Testing Database Systems, DBTest ’09, pp. 9:1–9:6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2009,

Buyya R., Murshed M.: GridSim: A Toolkit for the Modeling and Simulation of Distributed Resource Management and Scheduling for Grid Computing. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience (CCPE), vol. 14(13), pp. 1175– 1220, 2002.

Foster I., Kesselman C., Tuecke S.: The Anatomy of the Grid: Enabling Scalable Virtual Organizations. International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, vol. 15(3), pp. 200–222, 2001,

Garg S.K., Versteeg S., Buyya R.: A framework for ranking of cloud computing services. Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 29(4), pp. 1012–1023, 2013,, special Section: Utility and Cloud Computing.

Gniewek L.: Coverability Graph of Fuzzy Interpreted Petri Net. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, 2014.

Jensen K., Kristensen L.: Coloured Petri Nets. Modeling and Validation of Concurrent Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009.

Krebs R., Wert A., Kounev S.: Web Engineering: 13th International Conference, ICWE 2013, Aalborg, Denmark, July 8–12, 2013. Proceedings, chap. Multi-tenancy Performance Benchmark for Web Application Platforms, pp. 424–438. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013,

Murata T.: Petri Nets: Properties, Analysis and Applications. Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 77(4), pp. 541–580, 1989.

Nadeem F., Yousaf M., Ali M.: Grid Performance Prediction: Requirements, Framework, and Models. In: Emerging Technologies, 2006. ICET ’06. International Conference on, pp. 695–702, 2006.

Ostermann S., Iosup A., Yigitbasi N., Prodan R., Fahringer T., Epema D.: Cloud Computing: First International Conference, CloudComp 2009 Munich, Germany, October 19–21, 2009 Revised Selected Papers, chap. A Performance Analysis of EC2 Cloud Computing Services for Scientific Computing, pp. 115–131. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010, 13 marca 2017 str. 17/19 Predicting performance in a PaaS environment: a case study (...) 37

Petri C.: Kommunikation mit Automaten. Ph.D. thesis, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, 1962.

Rak T., Samolej S.: Distributed Internet Systems Modeling Using TCPNs. In: International Multiconference on Computer Science and Information Technology, pp. 559–566, 2008,

Ranganathan K., Foster I.: Decoupling computation and data scheduling in distributed data-intensive applications. In: Proceedings 11th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing, pp. 352–358, IEEE Computer Society, 2002,

Rząsa W.: Combining Timed Colored Petri Nets and Real TCP Implementation to Reliably Simulate Distributed Applications. In: A. Kwiecień, P. Gaj, P. Stera, eds., Computer Networks, Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol. 39, pp. 79–86, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009, http: //

Rząsa W.: Timed Colored Petri Net Based Estimation of Efficiency of the Grid Applications. Ph.D. thesis, AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland, 2011.

Rząsa W.: Simulation-Based Analysis of a Platform as a Service Infrastructure Performance from a User Perspective. In: P. Gaj, A. Kwiecień, P. Stera, eds., Computer Networks, Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol. 522, pp. 182–192, Springer International Publishing, 2015,

Rząsa W., Bubak M.: Application of Petri Nets to Evaluation of Grid Applications Efficiency. In: Proceedings of CGW’10, pp. 194–201, 2011.

Rząsa W., Bubak M.: Simulation Method Supporting Development of Parallel Applications for Grids. In: Proceedings of CGW’10, pp. 194–201, 2011.

Rząsa W., Bubak M., Nawarecki E.: High-Level Model for Performance Evaluation of Distributed Applications. In: J. Balicki, H. Krawczyk, E. Nawarecki, eds., Grid and Volunteer Computing, pp. 7–23, Gdańsk University of Technology Faculty of Electronics, Telecomunication and Informatics Press, Gdańsk, 2012.

Stantchev V.: Performance Evaluation of Cloud Computing Offerings. In: Advanced Engineering Computing and Applications in Sciences, 2009. ADVCOMP ’09. Third International Conference on, pp. 187–192, 2009.

Sulistio A., Cibej U., Venugopal S., Robic B., Buyya R.: A Toolkit for Modelling and Simulating Data Grids: An Extension to GridSim. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, vol. 20(13), pp. 1591–1609, 2008,

Szpyrka M.: Analysis of RTCP-nets with Reachability Graphs. Fundamenta Informaticae, vol. 74(2), pp. 375–390, 2006.

Takefusa A., Tatebe O., Matsuoka S., Morita Y.: Performance Analysis of Scheduling and Replication Algorithms on Grid Datafarm Architecture for High-Energy Physics Applications. In: 12th International Symposium on High-Performance 13 marca 2017 str. 18/19 38 Wojciech Rząsa Distributed Computing (HPDC-12 2003), 22–24 June 2003, Seattle, WA, USA, pp. 34–47, 2003,

Tudoran R., Costan A., Antoniu G., Bougé L.: A Performance Evaluation of Azure and Nimbus Clouds for Scientific Applications. In: Proceedings of the 2Nd International Workshop on Cloud Computing Platforms, CloudCP ’12, pp. 4:1– 4:6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2012, 2168701.




How to Cite

Rząsa, W. (2017). Predicting Performance in a PaaS Environment: a Case Study for a Web Application. Computer Science, 18(1), 21.