Towards Performance Tooling Interoperability: An Open Format for Representing Execution Traces
Execution traces capture information on a software system’s runtime behavior, including data on system-internal software control flows, performance, as well as request parameters and values. In research and industrial practice, execution traces serve as an important basis for model-based and measurement-based performance evaluation, e.g., for application performance monitoring (APM), extraction of descriptive and prescriptive models, as well as problem detection and diagnosis. A number of commercial and open-source APM tools that allow the capturing of execution traces within distributed software systems is available. However, each of the tools uses its own (proprietary) format, which means that each approach building on execution trace data is tool-specific.
In this paper, we propose the (OPEN.xtrace) format to enable data interoperability and exchange between APM tools and (SPE) approaches. Particularly, this enables SPE researchers to develop their approaches in a tool-agnostic and comparable manner. OPEN.xtrace is a community effort as part of the overall goal to increase interoperability of SPE/APM techniques and tools.
In addition to describing the OPEN.xtrace format and its tooling support, we evaluate OPEN.xtrace by comparing its modeling capabilities with the information that is available in leading APM tools.
This work is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant no. 01IS15004, diagnoseIT), by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the Priority Programme “DFG-SPP 1593: Design For Future—Managed Software Evolution” (HO 5721/1-1, DECLARE), and by the Research Group of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC RG, http://research.spec.org). Special thanks go to Alexander Bran, Alper Hidiroglu, and Manuel Palenga — Bachelor’s students at the University of Stuttgart — for their support in the evaluation of the APM tools.
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