HPCBIOS_07-02: Common Open Source Performance and Profiling Tools


Performance and profiling tools are used on HPC sites for keeping codes execution times tamed.

This policy defines a set of performance and profiling tools and promotes their consistent maintenance (ie maintain compatible versions and configuration) across all systems of compatible sites. Same configuration is dependent on system compatibility, and also, some libraries may have slightly different configurations due to architectural differences. These differences, however, SHALL NOT affect the use of the libraries. A user moving from one resource to another is not expected to notice significant difference between the installations.

  • BC Policy: HPCBIOS_07-02
  • Date of Policy: 2012-12-15

The suite of maintained packages consists of:

Tool Description Compliance level Reference
gprof The GNU Profiler MUST http://www.gnu.org/software/binutils/
PAPI Consistent interface to hardware counters and events MUST http://icl.cs.utk.edu/papi
Valgrind Memory management analysis and profiling MUST http://valgrind.org/
Intel Vtune Analyzer performance optimization tool NOTE: not open source but still relevant SHOULD (commercial) http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-vtune-amplifier-xe/
UNITE UNiform Integrated Tool Environment SHOULD http://apps.fz-juelich.de/unite


The goal of UNITE is to provide a robust, portable, and integrated environment for the debugging and performance analysis of parallel MPI, OpenMP and hybrid MPI/OpenMP programs on high-performance compute clusters. It consists of a set of well-accepted portable, mostly open-source tools. UNITE itself includes:

mpiP Lightweight, Scalable MPI Profiling http://mpip.sourceforge.net/
SCALASCA Scalable trace analysis package http://www.scalasca.org/
Vampir Performance Optimization http://www.vampir.eu/
Performance analysis of parallel applications
  • Support for PAPI and SCALASCA
  • PDT: Source-level auto-instrumentation
PerfSuite software performance analysis http://perfsuite.ncsa.illinois.edu/
other hpctoolkit periscope marmot itac Extrae Paraver kcachegrind  

The packages will be installed and maintained as part of a consistent computational environment.

Potential sources of information for further future upgrades of this list include:

Kindly notify -if this policy is inadequate for your work- both your local site technical representative & HPCBIOS maintainers.