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  7. Fujitsu Develops World's First Performance Analysis Tool that Identifies Root Causes of Performance Issues in Virtual Environments

Fujitsu Develops World's First Performance Analysis Tool that Identifies Root Causes of Performance Issues in Virtual Environments

Enables more effective use of resources by understanding program behavior across the virtual environment from a virtualization platform to the operating systems and user programs running on virtual machines

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Kawasaki, Japan, March 12, 2013

Fujitsu Laboratories Limited announced the development of the world's first technology that can identify the root cause of performance problems in the widely used virtual environments that are part of the infrastructure underlying cloud computing and enterprise information systems.

Up until now, when problems arose within a virtual environment, the absence of a tool to analyze the behavior of the virtual environment as a whole made it difficult to identify the root cause of slowdowns at the application or program level. Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology that performs overall program behavior analysis by collecting execution information from user programs in each virtual machine (VM) on the virtual platform's hypervisor(1).

This technology can quickly and accurately analyze performance characteristics from the hypervisor level to the OS and user programs (business applications) on the VM, thereby grasping overall behavior. This should help reduce costs by improving the efficiency of server resource utilization.

Background

In server virtualization, a single physical server can run multiple VMs simultaneously, with each VM running its own operating system and user programs. This makes use of the continued improvements to server CPUs and makes it possible to reduce equipment costs by consolidating on one server the operations that had previously required multiple servers.

Figure 1: Infrastructure optimization through server virtualization

With the popularization of virtual environments, instances of end users experiencing a sudden drop in performance without knowing why, or experiencing a less-than-expected performance output, have become common problems.

The reasons for these issues occurring could be among the following:

  • Having multiple VMs and a hypervisor environment that provides VM functions all on one physical server makes the overall operating environment more complex, thus making it difficult to identify the cause of the problem.
  • Due to the VMs being constantly switched in and out of operation by the hypervisor, it is not possible to accurately monitor and analyze the performance by a single VM at a time.

In mission-critical applications, interruptions or stoppages due to system failures are unacceptable. As such applications become increasingly virtualized, performance expectations for virtual environments have risen. The same is true of the requirement for program-level optimization of overall system performance, which includes applications.

Technological Issues

To address the problem of deteriorating performance and other performance-related issues in virtual environments, it has become possible to confirm where bottlenecking occurs in the CPU, memory, or I/O resource levels. However, there have been no performance-analysis tools that could accurately and comprehensively analyze the characteristics from processing that takes place within the hypervisor to the processing of the user programs and the operating system running on the VMs. As a result, one of the only ways to resolve problems was to move VMs or reallocate resources, raising concerns about the ineffective use of resources and potentially higher operational management costs.

About the New Technology

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a new tool that collects execution information from the user programs on each VM via the hypervisor and can then quickly and accurately analyze performance characteristics, from the hypervisor processing level to the processing level on the OS and user programs running on the VM. The process from the information gathering stage to the analysis stage is as follows.

1. Measurement phase

Execution information on each user program running on the VMs is centrally sampled at the hypervisor level, rather than the VM in operation.

2. Map information generation phase

Map information is generated in each VM, for converting the data collected in the measurement phase to the symbol names of applications, process functions, etc.

3. Analysis phase

Execution information on the user programs in each VM collected in the measurement phase is cross-referenced with the data from the map information generation phase, producing a central hypervisor time-series analysis that breaks down the active program run states in each VM.

Figure 2: VM performance-analysis process flow

This centralized data sampling and analysis makes it possible to accurately grasp the actual states of complex VMs. Also, simply by combining this functionality with the hypervisor, it becomes possible to analyze the performance of "black box" VMs without having to modify the operating systems or applications in each VM.

Results

This technology makes it possible to identify the cause of problems in virtual environments that had previously been difficult to identify, such as why a particular performance issue arose or which processing program is the cause of the problem that needs to be resolved. It makes it possible to quickly and accurately analyze performance and understand behaviors, opening the way to more efficient resource utilization, which, in turn, should help lower costs.

Future Plans

The new technology will be used by Fujitsu's Linux technology support services beginning in April 2013.


  • [1] Hypervisor

    Computer virtualization software that creates and manages multiple environments, each running its own operating system, on a single physical computer.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.

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Technical Contacts

IT Systems Laboratories
Server Technologies Lab.

E-mail: E-mail: vm-pet@ml.labs.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.


All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

This press release has been revised as of December 17, 2018.

Date: 12 March, 2013
City: Kawasaki, Japan
Company: Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., , , , , , , , , ,