An ongoing survey by Computer Economics is investigating the level of staffing organizations allocate to their help desks. To date, more than 300 companies of varying size, spanning a wide group of industry sectors, have participated in the ongoing study. The study investigates staffing in terms of the ratio between help desk employees and the total number of employees supported by the help desk.
The study has found that the median staffing ratio is 1.3% (in other words, 13 help desk support personnel are supporting 1,000 company employees, or one help desk headcount for every 76.9 company employees). At the 25th percentile, the ratio is 0.4% and at the 75th percentile, the ratio is 2.8%. As the help desk is usually an overhead function, these moderate ratios show that most organizations are applying their budgets prudently. A median ratio of 1.3% provides an acceptable level of support to the operating staff. The study results indicate that organizational size and industry sector will typically have an impact on the ratio of help desk personnel to total employees.
Source: AFCOM – http://www.afcom.com/The_Association/ResourceCenter/Data_Center_Management/Help_Desk_Staffing.asp
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This post on www.ilovebonnie.net documents some impressive system performance improvements by the addition of Squid Cache (a caching proxy) and APC Cache (opcode cache for PHP).
* Apache is able to deliver roughly 700% more requests per second with Squid when serving 1KB and 100KB images.
* Server load is reduced using Squid because the server does not have to create a bunch of Apache processes to handle the requests.
* APC Cache took a system that could barely handle 10-20 requests per second to handling 50-60 requests per second. A 400% increase.
* APC allowed the load times to remain under 5 seconds even with 200 concurrent threads slamming on the server.
* These two caches are easy to setup and install and allow you to get a lot more performance out of them.
The post has an in-depth discussion and a number of supporting charts. The primary point is how simple it can be to improve performance and scalability by adding caching.
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