Passive, Domain-Independent, End-to-End Message Passing Performance Monitoring to Support Adaptive Applications in MSHN
St. John, David
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This paper focuses on the problem of monitoring the end-to-end performance of message passing to support adaptive applications to be executed using the MSHN system (Management System for Heterogeneous Networks). Eight commercial and research tools and application components that attempt to measure perceived end-to-end message passing performance were identified. Two were dismissed; one because of recently published findings and the other because it is typically used in too many inconsistent configurations. The remaining six are carefully described in the paper. We were able to characterize each as either passive or active, determine whether they require domain-specific knowledge of an application, identify sources of inaccuracies, and enumerate their limitations. Based upon this survey, and previous analytical experiments, we conclude that the optimal monitoring mechanism: (1) should be passive; (2) should not require domain-specific knowledge of an application; (3) should minimize sources of error; and (4) should have few limitations. No single tool or application component surveyed has all of these characteristics. Based upon the surveyed work and other recent research in distributed systems, we have synthesized a new tool whose mechanisms have all of the desired characteristics. This paper describes our mechanism, and how we implemented it, in detail.
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