Monitoring CMT Servers with perfbar version 1.2

Perfbar is a very valuable visual tool which allows to determine bottle necks on SMP servers. Ralph Bogendoerfer now released the final version 1.2

A single full bar in this tool is an indicator for an application which is single threaded. This allows to spot certain scalability problems while passing by on the way to get a cup of coffee. Tools like mpstat are much more precise but by far less intuitive...

Removing this bottle neck of a single thread which is CPU bound in an application is very important to exploit all CPU resources of a SMP server.

Version 1.2 of perfbar allows the monitoring of massive parallel CMT servers through an improved layout. The traditional look showed bars for all CPUs in a row like the one for a 16 way server below:

This concept of putting all bars side by side has it's limits. Screens aren't wide enough to monitor systems like the T5xx class of CMT servers with up 128 execution units. The new version of perfbar allows to monitor the a CMT system in multiple rows. This makes every fit on the screen. See below:

perfbar can be called without specifying any command line arguments. perfbar provides a large number of options which can be viewed with the -h option:

$ perfbar -h

perfbar 1.2

maintained by Ralph Bogendoerfer
based on the original perfbar by:
Joe Eykholt, George Cameron, Jeff Bonwick, Bob Larson

Usage: perfbar [X-options] [tool-options]
   supported X-options:
      -display <display> or -disp <display>
      -geometry <geometry> or -geo <geometry>
      -background <background> or -bg <background>
      -foreground <foreground> or -fg <foreground>
      -font <font> or -fn <font>
      -title <title> or -t <title>
      -iconic or -icon
      -decoration or -deco
   supported tool-options:
      -h, -H, -? or -help: this help
      -v or -V: verbose
      -r or -rows: number of rows to display, default 1
      -bw or -barwidth: width of CPU bar, default 12
      -bh or -barheight: height of CPU bar, default 180
      -i or -idle: idle color, default blue
      -u or -user: user color, default green
      -s or -system: system color, default red
      -w or -wait: wait color, default yellow
      -int or -interval: interval for display updates (in ms),default 100
      -si or -statsint: interval for stats updates (in display intervals), default 1
      -avg or -smooth: number of values for average calculation, default 8

There are also a number of key strokes understood by the tool:

  • Q or q: Quit

  • R or r: Resize - this changes the window to the default size according to the number of CPU bars, rows and the chosen bar width and height.

  • Number keys 1 - 9: Display this number of rows.

  • + and -: Increase or decrease number of rows displayed.

The tool is currently available as a beta in version 1.2. The engineers from the Sun Solution Center in Langen/Germany made it available for free through:

Other resources for performance oriented Sun users


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Application tuning, sizing, monitoring, porting on Solaris 11

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