Over at HPC Admin, Dell’s Jeff Layton writes that the plethora of available processing architectures today makes it more important than ever to know your application.
Two basic approaches are available to help you understand your application: profiling, which gathers summary data when an application is run, and tracing, which presents a history of events as a function of time when the application is executed. I believe both tools can be used to gather information about your application so that you can begin to paint a picture of how your application behaves and how it interacts with the system. In my opinion, just application profiling or tracing is not enough: You also need to profile and trace the system while the application is running so you get a much more complete picture of what the application is doing and what the system is doing to support the application or in response to it.
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