The aim of this work is to provide some insight into the response-time statistics of enterprise resource planning systems. We propose a simple mean-field model for the response-time distribution in such systems. This model yields a log-normal distribution of response-times. We present data from performance measurements to support the result. The data show that the response-time distribution of a given transaction in a given system is generically a log-normal distribution or, in some situations, a sum of two or more log-normal distributions. Deviations of the log-normal form can often be traced back to performance problems in the system. Consequences for the interpretation of response-time data and for service level agreements are discussed. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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