Your Guide to Understanding System Performance

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Have you ever wondered how well your system is being utilized throughout a long stretch of application runs? Or whether your system was misconfigured, leading to a performance degradation? Or, most importantly, how to reconfigure it to get the best performance out of your code? State-of-the-art performance analysis tools, which allow users to collect performance data for longer runs, don’t always give detailed performance metrics. On the other hand, performance analysis tools suitable for shorter application runs can overwhelm you with a huge amount of data.

This article introduces you to Intel® VTune™ Amplifier’s Platform Profiler, which provides data to learn whether there are problems with your system configuration that can lead to low performance, or if there’s pressure on specific system components that can cause performance bottlenecks. It analyzes performance from either the system or hardware point of view, and helps you identify under- or over-utilized resources. Platform Profiler uses a progressive disclosure method, so you’re not overwhelmed with information. That means it can run for multiple hours, giving you the freedom to monitor and analyze long-running or always-running workloads in either development or production environments.

You can use Platform Profiler to:

  • Identify common system configuration problems
  • Analyze the performance of the underlying platform and find performance bottlenecks

First, the platform configuration charts Platform Profiler provides can help you easily see how the system is configured and identify potential problems with the configuration. Second, you get system performance metrics including:

  • CPU and memory utilization
  • Memory and socket interconnect bandwidth
  • Cycles per instruction
  • Cache miss rates
  • Type of instructions executed
  • Storage device access metrics

These metrics provide system-wide data to help you identify if the system―or a specific platform component such as CPU, memory, storage, or network―is under- or over-utilized, and whether you need to upgrade or reconfigure any of these components to improve overall performance.

 


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