Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
9th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS IX) — Abstract

Magpie: Online Modelling and Performance-aware Systems

Paul Barham, Rebecca Isaacs, Richard Mortier, and Dushyanth Narayanan, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK


Understanding the performance of distributed systems requires correlation of thousands of interactions between numerous components—a task best left to a computer. Today's systems provide voluminous traces from each component but do not synthesise the data into concise models of system performance.

We argue that online performance modelling should be a ubiquitous operating system service and outline several uses including performance debugging, capacity planning, system tuning and anomaly detection. We describe the Magpie modelling service which collates detailed traces from multiple machines in an e-commerce site, extracts request-specific audit trails, and constructs probabilistic models of request behaviour. A feasibility study evaluates the approach using an offline demonstrator. Results show that the approach is promising, but that there are many challenges to building a truly ubiquitious, online modelling infrastructure.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML and PDF.
    The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2003 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.
To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 24 July 2003 aw
Technical Program
9th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOS IX) Home