Stardust: Tracking Activity in a Distributed Storage System

Proceedings of the Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, (SIGMETRICS'06). June 26th-30th 2006, Saint-Malo, France.

Eno Thereska, Brandon Salmon, John Strunk, Matthew Wachs, Michael Abd-El-Malek, Julio Lopez, Gregory R. Ganger

Parallel Data Laboratory
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Performance monitoring in most distributed systems provides minimal guidance for tuning, problem diagnosis, and decision making. Stardust is a monitoring infrastructure that replaces traditional performance counters with end-to-end traces of requests and allows for efficient querying of performance metrics. Such traces better inform key administrative performance challenges by enabling, for example, extraction of per-workload, per-resource demand information and per-workload latency graphs. This paper reports on our experience building and using end-to-end tracing as an on-line monitoring tool in a distributed storage system. Using diverse system workloads and scenarios, we show that such fine-grained tracing can be made efficient (less than 6% overhead) and is useful for on- and off-line analysis of system behavior. These experiences make a case for having other systems incorporate such an instrumentation framework.





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