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SubjectRe: [perfmon] Re: [perfmon2] perfmon2 merge news
Hi Andi,

pfmon is a single tool and fairly low level, the HPC folks don't use
it so much because it isn't parallel aware and is meant for power-
users. It is not representative of the tools used in HPC at all. Our
community uses tools built on the infrastructure provided by libpfm
and PAPI for the most part.

I know you don't want to hear this, but we actually use all of the
features of perfmon, because a) we wanted to use the best methods
available and b) areas where user level solutions could be made (like
multiplexing) introduced too much noise and overhead to be of use.
For years we relied on PerfCtr which did 'just enough' for us. But
when Perfmon2 became available, we adopted technology where it meant
a significant increase in accuracy for the resulting measurements,
specifically for us that meant, kernel multiplexing and sample buffers.
Note that PAPI is just middleware. The tools built upon it are what
people use...some of those are commercial tools like Vampir but most
are Open Source. These tools are cross platform, as such they run on
nearly everything...although intel/amd/ppc systems dominate the HPC

The usage cases are always the same and can be broken down into
simple counting and sampling:

- providing virtualized 64-bit counters per-thread
- providing notification (buffered or non) on interrupt/overflow of
the above.

If you'd like to outline further what you'd like to hear from the
community, I can arrange that. I seem to remember going through this
once before, but I'd be happy to do it again. For reference, here's a
quick list from memory of some of the tools in active use and built
on this infrastructure. These are used heavily around the globe.
You'll see that each basically follows one of the 2 usage models above.

- HPCToolkit (Rice)
- PerfSuite (NCSA)
- Vampir (Dresden)
- Kojak (Juelich)
- TAU (UOregon)
- PAPIEX (me)
- HPM-Linux (IBM)
- Paraver (Barcelona)

Time to go give a talk here at a tools session at SC'07 about this
very subject.


On Nov 13, 2007, at 12:36 PM, Andi Kleen wrote:

>> He speaks for quite a few people - they have serious need for this
>> feature
> Most likely they have serious need for a very small subset of
> perfmon2.
> The point of my proposal was to get this very small subset in quickly.
> Phil, how many of the command line options of pfmon do you
> actually use? How many do the people at your conference use? Or what
> functions, what performance counters etc. in PAPI or whatever
> library you use?
> Make use understand the use cases better, that would already help a
> lot
> in merging by concentrating on what people actually really need.
> -Andi

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