Performance monitoring using hardware counters : Releasing HAR 2.0

In 2001, our ISV Engineering group at Sun --f.k.a. Market Development Engineering-- released the first version of the Hardware Activity Reporter (HAR) tool for Solaris 8 and up. Starting with Solaris 8, Sun had begun to deliver public interfaces for the SPARC and x86 hardware performance counters --libcpc, to access CPU counters and libpctx, to track a process--, leading to a new generation of performance monitoring tools: the Solaris cpustat and cputrack commands, hardware-counter profiling in Sun Studio's Performance Analyzer, SPOT and HAR, to name a few.

HAR differs from other tools in the fact that it combines the low-level counts into higher-level metrics more useful to application programmers. Application programmers are typically interested in the following metrics: CPI, FLOPS, MIPS, address bus percentage utilization, cache miss rates, branch and branch miss rates, and stall rates. These metrics help in assessing the fair usage of available processing units, locating bottlenecks and guiding tuning efforts, when needed. Check out this SDN article on how to use HAR to identify performance bottlenecks and quantify code-tuning improvements through a couple of case studies in the fields of CFD and MCAD.

Since the release of Solaris 10, HAR 1.x had become somewhat obsolete as we stopped adding support for new processors after UltraSPARC IV and Pentium P6. Today, thanks to the work of Amir Javanshir, we are happy to announce the release 2.0 of HAR, featuring :

  • a full C++ rewrite --HAR 1.x was written in plain C, the C++ inheritance mechanism makes it easier to add a new processor type.
  • support for Solaris 10 and up --Solaris 10 introduced libcpc2 as a replacement for libcpc, HAR 2.0 calls into libcpc2.
  • support for OpenSolaris
  • support for Sun UltraSPARC I to IV+, Sun UltraSPARC T1 & T2, Fujitsu SPARC64 VI & VII, Intel Pentium, AMD Opteron
  • open source available under the free-software CDDL license

Both Sparc and x86 binaries of HAR 2.0 are now available for download at http://opensolaris.free.fr/har/, and the source will soon be. HAR 2.0 will also be distributed as part of dimStat which carries a HAR 1.x release today. For your information, dimStat is a powerful tool for system monitoring, developed by Sun's benchmark engineer Dimitri Kravtchuk, widely used during customer benchmarks at the Sun Solution Centers and available to all as free software for Solaris and Linux. Highly recommended!

For documentation, type har2 -h.

For technical support, post your questions on the HPC technology Partners forum on forums.sun.com.

Comments:

how to install har2.sparc on sparc machine?

pkgadd -d does not work?!

Posted by ron on March 27, 2010 at 06:40 PM CET #

You don't install har2.sparc per se. It is the binary itself.

Copy it to your bin directory of choice (eg /usr/local/bin), rename it "har2" for simplicity, do a chmod +x on the file, then run HAR by typing "har2" at the prompt (assuming the directory you saved HAR into is in your $PATH).

HTH, Frederic.

Posted by Frederic Pariente on March 28, 2010 at 03:07 PM CEST #

Hi, I am not able to open the given link for download:

http://opensolaris.free.fr/har/

Kindly help
Tina

Posted by System Monitoring on March 15, 2013 at 05:38 AM CET #

HAR was removed from opensolaris.free.fr to be transferred to an Oracle-owned internet property which is still TBD. In the meantime, you should still be able to get it thru the dimStat distro. I will post on this blog any update regarding the new (public) home for HAR and support for newer T4-T5 processors.

Posted by Frederic Pariente on March 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM CET #

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