[Beowulf] itanium vs. x86-64

Eric Thibodeau kyron at neuralbs.com
Tue Feb 10 18:24:31 PST 2009

Tom Elken wrote:
>> Which profilers can 
>> benefit from all this info?
> We have found Oprofile to be a useful text-oriented tool:
> http://oprofile.sourceforge.net/about/
> From the Overview on this page:
> "OProfile is a system-wide profiler for Linux systems, capable of profiling all running code at low overhead. OProfile is released under the GNU GPL.
> It consists of a kernel driver and a daemon for collecting sample data, and several post-profiling tools for turning data into information.
> OProfile leverages the hardware performance counters of the CPU to enable profiling of a wide variety of interesting statistics, which can also be used for basic time-spent profiling. All code is profiled: hardware and software interrupt handlers, kernel modules, the kernel, shared libraries, and applications."
> -Tom
Yes, Oprofile is a fantastic switch to turn on for profiling the entire 
system. Now, last time I tried to use it it totally crashed my system. I 
had to concentrate on other stable means of profiling at this point. 
Note that kTAU is also meant to profile in-kernel execution and seems to 
have some fine grained options (not from experience, from reading the 
docs ;P). I'm more centered on profiling the applications rather than 
the entire system...for the moment, oprofile is still on the list. 
Furthermore, oprofile is not "parallel processing" centric, the TAU 
suite is and this means that all tools are arranged as to consolidate 
and visualize data in that context (check the 3D screen shots).

This said, what I really like is the integration TAU brings, being able 
to glue multiple sources of profiling information into a unified format 
coupled with GUI visualization tools. The only lacking tool, for the 
moment, is a Trace analyzer (although it supports reading/converting 
from and to other tracing tool formats such as VTune).

PS: I am in no way affiliated to the TAU team...btw ;)

>> This monster suite (free!):
>> http://www.cs.uoregon.edu/research/tau/docs.php
>> Which I have been pushing around for a while and it's quite impressive
>> IMHO. Weird thing is I seem to be the only one interested in 
>> profiling and
>> metrics and all that gunk around here. Guess that will change 
>> now that it
>> is actually possible to _measure_ the FLOPS your application _truely_
>> consumes thanks to these counters (I mean, for us laymans 
>> that never had
>> access to such cool hardware :P )
>>> toon
>> Eric
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