An Overview of Software Performance Analysis Tools and Techniques: From GProf to DTrace

Justin Thiel,

As computer applications have grown in complexity, the ability to fine-tune the performance of an application "by-hand" has been reduced. In response to these difficulties, a wide variety of automated performance analysis techniques have been developed. This paper provides an in-depth look at the types of analysis tools that are currently avaiable, starting with those that implement simple static techiques and then moving onwards towards those that rely on advanced dynamic mechanisms to obtain application statistics. Along the way, various example tools are presented in an attempt to give the reader a better idea of how a real world implementation of each analysis mechanism functions.

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