How to use pre-defined inspections in eBPF for troubleshooting Performance

How to use pre-defined inspections in eBPF for troubleshooting Performance


eBPF (extended Berkeley Packet Filter) is a powerful feature in Linux that allows for the execution of custom programs in the kernel space. This can be used to troubleshoot performance issues by analyzing system-level metrics such as CPU, memory, and I/O usage.
To use pre-defined inspections in eBPF for troubleshooting performance, you can use tools such as BCC (BPF Compiler Collection) and eBPF Trace tools.
BCC is a collection of tools that use eBPF to analyze and troubleshoot performance issues. It includes various utilities for monitoring CPU usage, I/O usage, and more.
eBPF Trace tools are another set of utilities that can be used to analyze performance issues. These tools can be used to trace system calls, network events, and more.
To use these tools, you will need to have a working knowledge of eBPF and Linux kernel internals. Additionally, you will need to have the appropriate permissions to execute these tools on your system.
The bcc-tools package contains a number of different tools that can be used to perform various types of performance analysis, including:
  1. top - A tool that can be used to monitor CPU usage for different processes and system calls.
  2. tcpconnect - A tool that can be used to monitor TCP connections and measure latency.
  3. tcpaccept - A tool that can be used to measure the rate at which a server is accepting new TCP connections.
  4. tcpaccept - A tool that can be used to measure the rate at which a server is accepting new TCP connections.
  5. runqlat - A tool that can be used to measure the latency of individual system calls.
  6. biolatency - A tool that can be used to measure I/O latency for block devices.
  7. syscount - A tool that can be used to count the number of times that various system calls have been made.
  8. filelife - A tool that can be used to monitor the lifetime of files that are created and deleted.
In order to use these tools, you will need to install the bcc-tools package on your Linux system. Once the package is installed, you can use the tools by specifying the appropriate command-line options. The specific options that are available will depend on the tool that you are using.
For more information on the bcc-tools package and the different tools that it provides, you can refer to the official documentation available here: https://github.com/iovisor/bcc/blob/master/docs/index.rst
Example:
To use BCC you can use the following command:
This will show the top running process based on the CPU usage.
You can also use the following command to trace the system calls:
This will trace all the system calls that are happening on the system and show the performance statistics on the terminal.
It is important to note that eBPF is a powerful feature and should be used with care. Misuse or incorrect use of eBPF programs can lead to system instability or crashes.
About Shiv Iyer 72 Articles
Open Source Database Systems Engineer with a deep understanding of Optimizer Internals, Performance Engineering, Scalability and Data SRE. Shiv currently is the Founder, Investor, Board Member and CEO of multiple Database Systems Infrastructure Operations companies in the Transaction Processing Computing and ColumnStores ecosystem. He is also a frequent speaker in open source software conferences globally.

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