How do I capture an Altiris Profiler trace for Altiris support?

book

Article ID: 179518

calendar_today

Updated On:

Products

Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

Question
How is the Altiris Profiler  (new to NS 6.0 SP3)  setup to run, and what files are needed when the profiler has been run so that they can be analyzed by the support group?

Answer
There are 2 ways to run the profiler, by using the Wizard or simply running it directly.


1. Using the Wizard.

The profiler can be run to collect or not to collect the SQL and/or Code traces. It is setup through the wizard that will normally show up when the profiler is run. It can be turned off so that it doesn't run automatically but can be run again from the main menu of the profiler.

The following steps are used to get a profiler trace. Step 3 shows the images through the setup wizard on how the options should be chosen.

  1. The profiler is installed in the folder C:\Program Files\Altiris\Diagnostics. The profiler.exe is found in that directory. A shortcut to the executable can be used if desired.
  2. Open the console to the operation or process that is to be profiled. Typically it is some process within the console that is to be investigated.
  3. Run the profiler.exe and follow these images for reference. These will help you setup the options for profiling.

    At each step in the process, the wizard options should be marked similarly to these provided images.







    In the image below, you may have been requested to only include SQL queries that exceed X milliseconds (such as 3000).  If this is the case, check the top box and enter 3000








     
  4. Once the wizard steps have been completed, the profiler may appear to close, but it is actually running. There will be a minimized DOS window in the operating system's Toolbar. This is the profiler running in the background.
  5. At this point, return to the NS Console and run the desired task or operation that is being investigated. Wait for the operation or task to complete or error, or whatever behavior is expected.
  6. Once the process to be investigated has completed, return to the profiler by restoring the profiler window you should have in the Windows task bar and press the ENTER key in that window. This will end the session and display the results.

The profile should be done. The next thing needed is to collect the profiler files for support. They will normally be found in the same directory from which the profiler.exe was run. The following are the files that are generated during the course of the profile:

default.apr
SqlCache_<number>_0.buffer
CodeCache_<number>_0.buffer

These are the two .buffer files which support directly needs. There are also two reports that the profiler can generate. They are .htm files and give some general information gathered during the profile and regarding some performance of the server on which the profile was run. Here are the names of these two files:

"Executive Summary Report-<today's date>.htm"
"Performance Report-<today's date>.htm"

They should be collected and sent in to the support group with the two .buffer files.


2. Running the Profiler directly

Work through the following steps to capture the Altiris Profiler Trace Data:

 

The process includes;

  1. Clear the Profiler and Start the trace
  2. Run the failing Policy / Report
  3. Stop the Profiler following the failed process
  4. Capture the data if needed 
  • Go to the NS > Start > All Programs > Altiris > Diagnostics:
    • Select the Altiris Profiler (cancel the Wizard popup)
    • Have the Console ready showing the failed Policy / Report

  • Start the Profiler; Have the Profiler tool in front of the console:
    • Clear the Profiler
      • Go to Profiling > Clear Trace > Clear Trace
    • Start the Profiler
      • Select Green Triangle Icon on the tool bar
    • Quickly go to the Console and execute the failing Process / Report
  • Wait for the process for the Process / Report to fail:
    NOTE: If running this on 7.6 or earlier wait 60 seconds after the Process / Report failure to stop the profier trace
    • Pull up the Profiler and Stop the trace
      • Select the Red Square Icon on the tool bar

  • To gather the data:
    • Go to File > Export (do not save, for that will not capture the data)
    • Browse to a location to export the data to
    • Go to the saved Profiler File and right click / send to compress if needing to email the data to support

NOTE:
The files that are generated by the profiler can become quite large. Be sure to follow the steps above to disable the profiler when finished to avoid a situation where you run out of available disk resources.

After collecting the requested files and sending them in to support, you may safely delete these files to recover the used disk space. 

Attachments