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Open Access Publications from the University of California

NetLogger: A toolkit for distributed system performance tuning and deb ugging

  • Author(s): Tierney, Brian;
  • Gunter, Dan
  • et al.

Developers and users of high-performance distributed systems often observe performance problems such as unexpectedly low throughput or high latency. Determining the source of the performance problems requires detailed end-to-end instrumentation of all components, including the applications, operating systems, hosts, and networks. In this paper we describe a methodology that enables the real-time diagnosis of performance problems in complex high-performance distributed systems. The methodology includes tools for generating timestamped event logs that can be used to provide detailed end-to-end application and system level monitoring; and tools for visualizing the log data and real-time state of the distributed system. This methodology, called NetLogger, has proven invaluable for diagnosing problems in networks and in distributed systems code. This approach is novel in that it combines network, host, and application-level monitoring, providing a complete view of the entire system. NetLogger is designed to be extremely light-weight, and includes a mechanism for reliably collecting monitoring events from multiple distributed locations. This technical report summarizes most important points of several previous papers on NetLogger, and is meant to be used as a general overview.

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