Intel® Trace Analyzer and Collector User and Reference Guide

ID 767272
Date 8/08/2022

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Recording Operating System Counters

Similar to recording of process specific counters, Intel® Trace Collector can record operating system counters, which provide information about a node. In contrast to the process specific counters, OS counters are sampled very infrequently by one background thread per node and thus the overhead is very low. The amount of trace data also increases insignificantly.

By default, recording of OS counters is disabled. To enable it, set the configuration option:

COUNTER <counter_name> ON

Supported Counters

Counter Name Unit Comment
KB/s Read/write disk IO (any disk in the node).
KB/s Read/write network IO (any system interface). This might not include the MPI transport layer.
percent Average percentage of CPU time of all CPUs spent in idle mode.
percent Average percentage of CPU time of all CPUs spent in system code.
percent Average percentage of CPU time of all CPUs spent in user code.

You can change the delay between recording the current counter values with the configuration option OS-COUNTER-DELAY (by default, 1 second). CPU utilization is calculated by the OS with sampling, therefore a smaller value does not necessarily provide more detailed information. Increasing it could reduce the overhead further, but only slightly because the overhead is hardly measurable already.

These OS counters appear in the trace as normal counters which apply to all processes running on a node. To view the counters in Intel Trace Collector GUI, use Counter Timeline.

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