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General Purpose Data Collection Method

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000080192D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Callaway, PH: AUTHOR

Abstract

There is described herein a software tool that functions as a general purpose data collection mechanism in an operating system. In conjunction with the use of data reduction programs, the mechanism performs the following functions: It aids in control program debugging. It assists in the design validation of performance critical areas. It facilitates the evaluation of performance improvements and alternative algorithm testing. It assists in the revealing of system bottlenecks, thereby also supporting the installation configuration design validation and extension. It provides data for installation management, e.g., it monitors resource utilization. It permits complete investigation of system overload problems.

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General Purpose Data Collection Method

There is described herein a software tool that functions as a general purpose data collection mechanism in an operating system. In conjunction with the use of data reduction programs, the mechanism performs the following functions: It aids in control program debugging.

It assists in the design validation of performance critical

areas.

It facilitates the evaluation of performance improvements and

alternative algorithm testing.

It assists in the revealing of system bottlenecks, thereby also

supporting the installation configuration design validation and

extension.

It provides data for installation management, e.g., it monitors

resource utilization.

It permits complete investigation of system overload problems.

An important characteristic of the mechanism's design is its flexibility in data collection and data reduction, thereby enabling, facilely, an extension of its use to additional areas, such extensibility being a quite desirable property in the developing field of measurement and analysis mechanisms and techniques.

Important features of the mechanism are as follows: The use of a new instruction monitor call for selectivity in data collection and in minimizing of collection overhead.

The use of the CPU timer to accurately control the data sampling intervals for summary statistics.

The combining of surmary and trace data collection techniques for full flexibility.

The categorization of data collection by function into separate classes which are identified by keywords.

The mechanism essentially consists of a data collector component.

The collector is part of the control program and, as such, has privileged access to data of the accumulating statistical type and the transitory but key performance oriented data. The accumulating statistical type data finds utility in computing of resource utilization figures. The transitory performance oriented data is employed for tracking system performance parameters.

The essential elements of the collector include a command handler which controls the use of the monitor, and an interrupt handler which processes monitor call interrupts, performs data collection and effects output to tape. The program interrupt handler of the control program is modified to pass monitor call interrupts to the collector's interrupt handler. Monitor call instructions are located throughout the control program. These instructions, often known as "hooks", are categorized by the function they perform into distinct classes of data collection. Each class is identified by a unique and function describing keyword.

A data collection session is initiated by the enabling of the desired classes of monitor call interrupts, by the typing of a combination of corresponding keywords.

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Classes of data are listed immediately hereinbelow by class number and keyword:

Class One, RESPONS: This class suitably employs about six monitor call codes (0 --> 5...