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Fingerprinting the datacenter: Automated classification of performance crises

Peter Bodik, Moises Goldszmidt, Armando Fox, and Hans Andersen


When a performance crisis occurs in a datacenter, rapid recovery requires quickly recognizing whether a similar incident occurred before, in which case a known remedy may apply, or whether the problem is new, in which case new troubleshooting is necessary. To address this issue we propose a new and efficient representation of the datacenter's state, a fingerprint, that scales linearly with the number of performance metrics considered and it is not affected by the number of machines. These fingerprints are generated online and then used as unique identifiers of the different types of performance crises so that we can effectively recognize previous occurrences and retrieve repair actions. We evaluate our approach on a production datacenter with hundreds of machines running a 24x7 enterprise-class user-facing application, verifying each identification result with the operators of the datacenter and trouble-shooting tickets. Our approach has 80% identification accuracy in the operations-online setting with time to detection below 10 minutes (our operators stated that even 30 minutes into the crises is desirable), and offline identification on the order of high 90%. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time such an approach has been applied to a large-scale production installation with such rigorous verification. We compare our approach and show it is superior to various alternatives to the construction of a fingerprint including an adaptation to the datacenter setting of the signatures work in.


Publication typeTechReport
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