Visualizing the Joyent Cloud with DTrace

October 05, 2011 - by alexsalkever

(This is a repost of a blog put up this morning by Joyent's Brendan Gregg over at the DTrace blog. It's a very nice visualization of the Joyent Cloud using DTrace to map out our world.)

Visualizing the Cloud

I’ve worked on visualizations for a while, most recently with heatmaps for Joyent’s Cloud Analytics (here's a link to a great introduction to Cloud Analytics by Dave Pacheco). While we’re using and enhancing these right now, we are also in a great position to continue developing new visualizations for cloud computing, given:

  • Easy observability into all nodes via zones, and deeper analysis using DTrace.
  • JavaScript and node.js to drive powerful visualizations.
  • Large data centers running interesting cloud computing workloads from a large variety of customers.

Before I get into deeper analysis with DTrace, I’ll show something simple that has proven interesting so far.

The goal was to visualize the entire cloud to get a sense of what is running. Basic process details were collected: PID, PPID, process name, and recent percent CPU% (fetched using “ps -o zone,pid,ppid,pcpu,comm”). This was then graphed (using graphvis for now).

1. Processes

Examining just a few processes to begin with (click any of these images for the full version):

Parent-child relationships are shown with arrows. The size of each process reflects recent CPU usage: bigger means busier. The color identifies the type of process: system processes are shown in light blue. These details can be adjusted – the process size could show memory footprint, for example.

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