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SGI's Open Source Performance Co-Pilot

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the legacy-of-a-legend dept.

Silicon Graphics 24

codesmythe writes "The Fates, through SGI nee Rackable, have granted a new beginning to Silicon Valley's once darling Silicon Graphics. Despite old mistakes and economic misfortunes, Silicon Graphics' engineering contributions are legendary: their systems (oh, the systems!), and software such as the well known OpenGL and the little known Performance Co-Pilot. PCP is an enterprise-class open source system monitoring, measurement, and visualization infrastructure — overlooked in last fall's monitoring tool discussion. Since its proprietary beginning in 1993, PCP has been re-released as open source and ported to all major operating systems. Readers of Slashdot's recent Beginning Python Visualization book review will be pleased to hear there are Python interfaces to PCP data sources. Here is an example of using Python and Blender to visualize PCP data (registration may be required). The PCP dev community is well and active, and includes several of the original team members."

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24 comments

So taking .. (4, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#28138775)

PCP [wikipedia.org] will allow you to see things??

Re:So taking .. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28139135)

Yes. And you will want to eat eyes [sfist.com].

(Bonus: captcha == peepers)!

The problems were legendary too... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28138785)

Don't fall for the hype. SGI systems make terrible lawnmowers and they did NOTHING to prevent my house from being vandalized by neighborhood hoods in hoodies. I tried to return mine and go back to the old domesticated ruminant method but they would not refund me ... WTF???!?!? Now I am stuck with this useless box of junk and my lawn still looks like shit. Fuck SGI and fuck all you fanboyz.

Are they going to GPL an uncrippled XFS? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28138835)

Sure would be nice to have larger block sizes and real-time disks, etc. from the Irix version of XFS available under the GPL.

Re:Are they going to GPL an uncrippled XFS? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28140139)

Not to mention clustering, aka CXFS.

The Fridge Conversion gave me an idea! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28138881)

I'm going to get an old Apple server, plumb it, and turn it into a toilet!

ZOMG hackers crash plane! (-1, Offtopic)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#28139221)

Alright, I'm an idiot, but I first read OSS as a co-pilot and thought we were replacing someone in the cockpit with something hackable.

Re:ZOMG hackers crash plane! (-1, Offtopic)

russlar (1122455) | more than 4 years ago | (#28139553)

Alright, I'm an idiot, but I first read OSS as a co-pilot and thought we were replacing someone in the cockpit with something hackable.

Remember Otto Pilot? [wikipedia.org]

Re:ZOMG hackers crash plane! (-1, Offtopic)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#28139645)

Otto Pilot was definitely hackable, too. Though physical access would then be required.

Re:ZOMG hackers crash plane! (0, Offtopic)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#28139711)

Really mods? Troll? Not your sense of humor I guess, so mod me off-topic. Pretty sure I'm not picking a fight with anyone but myself, though.

I read the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28139771)

and was getting all excited that Co-Pilot GPS software was going to be open sourced.

nee rackable? (2, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#28139847)

"nee rackable" is incorrect. nee [wikipedia.org]

Re:nee rackable? (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 4 years ago | (#28142005)

"nee rackable" is incorrect. nee [wikipedia.org]

According to Merriam Webster [merriam-webster.com], it is correct usage of the word. See definition two.

Re:nee rackable? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#28142449)

I must admit I was confused at first. I remember that Rackable bought SGI, so "Rackable nee SGI" would be somewhat logical: The SGI from back then is now called Rackable. However, since Rackable then changed its name into SGI, we also have "SGI nee Rackable".

Re:nee rackable? (1)

LarryWake (855436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28144413)

>I remember that Rackable bought SGI, so "Rackable nee SGI" would be somewhat logical

No, because Rackable was never previously known as SGI.

You could say that a *unit* of Rackable was previously known as SGI, except that unit would not, strictly speaking be known as just "Rackable", but rather the "SGI unit of Rackable" -- and in any event, Rackable pretty much instantly changed their name to SGI (Silicon Graphics International Corporation, to use the full name) as soon as they acquired old-SGI's assets.

It doesn't help that the "new SGI" website hops indiscriminately between servers that declare themselves to be "www.sgi.com" and "www.rackable.com" at various turns ... and their "about" page, in full "new SGI" trade dress, talks about how they are "Rackable Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: RACK)". (Although it also says the company will "adopt SGI as its glogal name and brand." You glow, gal!)

Re:nee rackable? (1)

anothy (83176) | more than 4 years ago | (#28146939)

the usage is correct; the thing currently called SGI used to be called Rackable. the fact that Rackable included, however briefly, a sub-part called SGI, which had its own prior existence, is irrelevant.

sorry, let me clarify: the usage is correct, but pretentious. i'd be more forgiving if the accent was correct.

I've used it... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28140523)

I've written systems that use Performance Co-Pilot. It is actually really sweet, and gives you so much in terms of general accounting. We tracked CPU load, network load, user/kernel time, as well as adding our own tags to track. The PCP infrastructure had automatic archive and visualization of all data, including realtime visualization, as data was being logged. You can also plot relationships (in real time).

This stuff is certainly the non-sexy part of enterprise software development, but it is pretty cool once it is integrated (actually quite easy), and gives you so much. Not to mention, saves *huge* amounts of time because it was so complete.

Re:I've used it... (2, Interesting)

alex_vegas (891476) | more than 4 years ago | (#28141085)

I'm curious, how does this package handle snmp data? Looking through their commit tree, I found one commit which mentioned snmp, and nothing at all in a full text search of the docs. http://oss.sgi.com/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi?p=pcp/pcp.git;a=commit;h=1500bd088898317c42eede0f0748f1fd09989c69 [sgi.com]

Re:I've used it... (1)

wiosd (576937) | more than 4 years ago | (#28148857)

The developers are pretty helpful.
Try posting your question on the PCP mailing list or IRC channel.
Details on the "Developers" page at http://oss.sgi.com/projects/pcp/ [sgi.com]

Disclaimer: I was a PCP developer in a previous life. ;)

Re:I've used it... (1)

kenmcd (1565451) | more than 4 years ago | (#28201491)

PCP was developed for addressing hard performance problems in complex, often distributed, systems. The relevant performance data is hiding the in the hardware instrumentation, the operating system, the service layers (dbms, web, mail, ...), the network and the applications.

So there is not a lot of SNMP coverage here to start with.

Secondly, the metadata services of SNMP are rather weak and we wanted something much richer to describe the available performance data that changed from platform to platform and from one software release to the next.

And finally we did lots of experiments to show that the PCP protocols were much more efficient than SNMP in terms of CPU load to encode and decode messages and numbers of roundtrips to support monitoring activities.

So PCP provides a set of services that are similar, but different in some important ways, to SNMP.

There are two possible points of integration of PCP and SNMP:

  1. a PCP wrapper could be built around an SNMP client to retrieve performance and configuration data from an SNMP source and export it into the PCP framework (Mark Goodwin wrote such an piece a long time ago)
  2. the PCP inference engine (pmie) can be configured to generate alarms that will trigger SNMP traps into an SNMP-based enterprise management framework

Re:I've used it... (1)

wiosd (576937) | more than 4 years ago | (#28149405)

...and if it doesn't support something you want to monitor/log, the API is documented and there are examples, so you can roll your own agents (or PMDAs as they are known), create your own visualisations, etc. Disclaimer: I was a PCP developer in a previous life.
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