PV - Program Visualizer Technical Information

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PV, the Program Visualizer for AIX, allows you to graphically display the behavior of a target program and the system underlying it. The target program is the program that you are analyzing. You can use PV to watch for trends, anomalies, and interesting correlations that help track down pressing problems or reveal unexpected ones.

Not only is PV useful for debugging and performance analysis, it can also help you understand the structure and dynamics of large applications, libraries, and frameworks. Whether you are trying to recover lost performance, meet a pressing deadline, or establish order in the initial stages of a project, PV allows you to see the big picture more clearly than before.

Using PV, you can view the following:

  • Operating-system-level activity:
    • Process hierarchy
    • Process scheduling
    • System calls and interrupts
    • Address-space activity
    • Kernel performance statistics
    • Raw AIX trace data
  • Language run-time activity:
    • Dynamic memory allocation
  • Application level activity:
    • Algorithm phase transitions
    • Execution time profiles
  • Hardware-level performance information:
    • POWER2 Architecture support
    • Processor unit utilization
    • Cache utilization
    • Memory utilization
    • Sources of delay
  • Hardware Requirements:
    • RISC System/6000
    • Color Megapel display or better
  • Software Requirements:
    • AIX 3.2.5 or 4.1.1
    • X11R5
    • Motif 1.2.3

IBM has decided to release a technology offering of this tool to customers so that they can take advantage of its unique capabilities. Additional information concerning PV and how to get it is available from:

IBM Corporation
Contact: Michelle F. Harr
250 W. Main St., 11th floor,
Lexington, KY 40507
Internet: mharr@vnet.ibm.com
Phone: (606) 243-4882
Fax: (606) 243-4999 

Reprint Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation, © International Business Machines Corporation