Runtime monitoring is key to the effective management of enterprise and high performance applications. To deal with the complex behaviors of today’s multi-tier applications running across shared platforms, such monitoring must meet three criteria: (1) fine granularity, including being able to track the resource usage of specific application behaviors like individual client-server interactions, (2) real-time response, referring to the monitoring system’s ability to both capture and analyze currently needed monitoring information with the delays required for online management, and (3) enterprise-wide operation, which means that the monitoring information captured and analyzed must span across the entire software stack and set of machines involved in request generation, request forwarding, service provision, and return. This paper presents the SysProf system-level monitoring toolkit, which provides a flexible, low overhead framework for enterprise-wide monitoring. The toolkit permits the capture of monitoring information at different levels of granularity, ranging from tracking the system-level activities triggered by a single system call, to capturing the client-server interactions associated with certain request classes, to characterizing the server resources consumed by sets of clients or client behaviors. The paper demonstrates the efficacy of SysProf by using it to manage two different enterprise applications: (1) detecting performance bottlenecks in a high performance shared network file service, and (2) enforcing service level agreements in a multi-tier auctioning web site.
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