Performance - (Latency|Response time|Running Time)

Scale Counter Graph


Latency is a performance metric also known as Response time.

Latency (Response Time) is the amount of time take a system to process a request (ie to first response) from the outside or not, remote or not,

In other words, how much time it takes between making a request and receiving the first data requested. That you can implement so: the time calculated just before sending the request to just after the first response has been received.

A request can be:

  • an UI action (such as pressing a button)
  • or a server API call

Network Protocol analysers (such as Wireshark) measure the time when bytes are actually sent/received over the interface.

See also: Algorithm - (Performance|Running Time|Fast)

Can we answer “What was the performance?” by “It took 15 seconds. Performance’s units, “inverse seconds”, can be awkward

Response Time Of System


Latency measurement is done via a timer metrics

See also: CPU - (CPU|Processor) Time Counter


Service level expectation in percentile:

  • 90% of responses should be below 0.5sec,
  • 99% should be below 2 seconds,
  • 99.9 should be better than 5 seconds.
  • And a >10 sec. response should never happen.

If you haven’t stated percentiles and a Max, you haven’t specified your requirements

User Perception

  • 100 ms: user perceives as instantaneous
  • 1s: is about the upper limit of human flow of though. User loses the feeling direct feedback
  • 10s: Upper limit of attention. Feedback is important and the chance of context switch is high.

Source: Response Times: The 3 Important Limits

page speed (Slow pages lose user)

Page Load Time Latency Vs Bounce

Response Time

over load

Time response over load, for a system with a uniform response time. Without a lot of variance. Ie 99.7% of the request fall in 3 standards deviations.

Response Time Over Load


Quantile - Percentile

Response Time Percentile


hdrhistogram - data structure to capture latency

See also:

Documentation / Reference

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