Versatile, Portable, and Efficient OS Profiling via Latency Analysis

Operating systems are complex and their behavior depends on many factors. Source code, if available, does not directly help understand the OS's behavior, as the behavior depends on actual workloads and external inputs. Runtime profiling is a key technique to prove new concepts, debug problems, and optimize performance. Unfortunately, existing profiling methods are lacking in important areas-they do not provide enough necessary information about the OS's behavior, they require OS modification and therefore are not portable, or they exact high overheads thus perturbing the profiled OS.

OSprof is a versatile, portable, and efficient OS profiling method based on latency distributions analysis. OSprof automatically selects important profiles for subsequent visual analysis. We have demonstrated that a suitable workload can be used to profile virtually any OS component. OSprof is portable because it can intercept operations and measure OS behavior from user-level or from inside the kernel without requiring source code. OSprof has typical CPU time overheads below 4%.

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Conference and Workshop Papers:

# Title (click for html version) Formats Published In Date Comments
1 DARC: Dynamic Analysis of Root Causes of Latency Distributions PS PDF BibTeX International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems (SIGMETRICS 2008) Jun 2008 Source code and benchmark information.
2 Operating System Profiling via Latency Analysis PS PDF BibTeX Seventh USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 2006) Nov 2006  

Technical Reports:

# Title (click for html version) Formats Published In Date Comments
1 Versatile, Portable, and Efficient File System Profiling PS PDF BibTeX Stony Brook U. CS TechReport FSL-06-05 Dec 2006 Ph.D. Thesis: an expanded version of our OSDI 2006 paper.

Past Students:

# Name (click for home page) Program Period Current Location
1 Nikolai Joukov PhD Jan 2004 - Dec 2006 Research Staff Member, Storage and Data Services Research group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center (Hawthorne, NY)
2 Avishay Traeger PhD Sep 2003 - Aug 2008 Senior Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat (Raanana, Israel)
3 Charles P. Wright PhD May 2003 - May 2006 Partner, Senior Software Architect, Illumon (New York, NY)
4 Rakesh Narayan Iyer MS Sep 2004 - Dec 2005 Software Development Engineer at Amazon Web Services (Palo Alto, CA)
5 Kumar Thangavelu MS Jan 2007 - Dec 2007 Staff Engineer, CASL, Nimble Storage (San Jose, CA)


# Sponsor Amount Period Type Title (click for award abstract)
1 NSF HECURA $760,253 2006-2009 Lead-PI File System Tracing, Replaying, Profiling, and Analysis on HEC Systems