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Revealing Hidden Latency Patterns with Heat Maps

Over at Brendan’s Blog, Brendan Gregg writes that response time – or latency – is crucial to understand in detail, but many of the common presentations of this data hide important details and patterns.

When I/O latency is presented as a visual heat map, some intriguing and beautiful patterns can emerge. These patterns provide insight into how a system is actually performing and what kinds of latency end-user applications experience. Many characteristics seen in these patterns are still not understood, but so far their analysis is revealing systemic behaviors that were previously unknown.

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