Beloved CMG Volunteer and Leader, John Peter Pilch, has Died at 61

Mar 28, 2011, 11:09 ET from Computer Measurement Group

TURNERSVILLE, N.J., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Computer Measurement Group (CMG), a not-for-profit, worldwide organization of IT professionals, sadly reports that John Peter Pilch, a tireless volunteer and beloved leader, passed away on Monday, February 28, 2011 at his sister's home in Parsippany, NJ.

In 1981, John began a lifelong association with CMG.  As part of giving back to the profession, John authored and presented several papers at the annual CMG conferences.  

Perhaps John's most notable contribution to CMG was his work as a member of the Conference Committee.  After many years of trying to figure out a way to manage all of the papers submitted for consideration for inclusion in the conference, John devised a structured and well-organized procedure that included the use of technology to help make the process more automated than it ever had been.  From there, John applied his organizational skills to define the role of the Program Committee – the individuals who read, select, and schedule presentations for the conference.  He created the Session Control booth at the conference so that immediate access was available to get questions answered within the actual conference presentation area.

As CMG's Program Chair in 1992, the program and conference flourished to its largest attendance figures.  John became a part of the committee that would study and evaluate future conference sites.  Ultimately, John was elected CMG's Treasurer in 2000, where he insisted on accountability, long before it was a fashionable term.

Members of CMG will remember John as the originator and yearly presenter of the 'Rookie Session' – a 60-minute impromptu presentation specifically for first-time conference attendees.  This session was always incredibly informative and also made "veteran" attendees feel comfortable participating and learning what was new.

"John leaves an impressive legacy to the performance industry.  He demonstrated great technical skills, creativity, and insight, team leadership ability, and lasting contributions to his profession.  He will be missed terribly by many," said Anthony Mungal, Marketing Director of CMG. "John was near and dear to all of us at CMG - an extraordinary individual who gave unselfishly to his profession, inspiring many through his persistent dedication."

John attended Fairleigh Dickenson University in New Jersey for both his undergraduate Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science. He made relationships there that lasted for his entire life, as he taught part-time in their Computer Science department for over 25 years.  His "bread-and-butter" course was the Graduate course in Computer Operating Systems, which he probably taught over 30 times.  He also taught graduate courses in Computer Performance Evaluation and Database Management Systems.

A Member of the Technical Staff of AT&T Bell Laboratories, Bell Communications Research, Telecordia Systems – John was hired in the mid-70s into a unique department of analysts who were responsible for analyzing and reporting on the performance of every Bell system data center in the country.  John worked on several complex projects, perhaps notably a simulation of what was once the largest database application ever written.

While that department housed all performance studies independent of computer type, John quickly became the in-house guru in guiding numerous benchmark studies of large System 390 systems.  Often, John's benchmark team would have to perform their experiments at the vendor laboratories, e.g. IBM's Washington System Center, and the Amdahl & Hitachi datacenters in California.  The benchmark reports were used by all of the Bell companies that emerged after the divesture.  They served as the 'standard reference' for large system performance.  At times, the benchmarks uncovered performance anomalies, and were reported back to the vendor – who subsequently had to make changes to their machines.

John's team also used analytic modeling tools to build performance models.  These models greatly reduce the need to perform full-blown system benchmarks, and yet gain valuable insight and results.  In addition, the team developed a set of experiments for large parallel processing machines at a time when commercial machines of this type were first being introduced.

After 20+ years of Bell system service, John continued his high quality work as a Performance Engineer and consultant with companies that included large drug companies, Merrill Lynch, and most recently ADP.  There, John held the position of "Senior Capacity Planner for Distributed Systems". He was responsible to ensure availability and stability of ADP's Distributed Server Infrastructure throughout the United States and Canada. His keen insights as a capacity planner and performance engineer allowed John to develop many analytical models which help to identify application inefficiencies that would otherwise have been overlooked.

CMG has published a tribute to John on their website:

The Computer Measurement Group ( is a not-for-profit, worldwide organization of IT professionals committed to sharing information and practices focused on ensuring the efficiency and scalability of IT service delivery to the enterprise through measurement, quantitative analysis, and forecasting.

SOURCE Computer Measurement Group