Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 118)

We would like to introduce Trace Dimension pattern to address the emerging complexity of logs from distributed environments. By a distributed environment we mean not only a collection of multiple computers (for example, client-server) but also terminal services environments with several different user sessions on one computer (OS) and even multiple user processes (IPC) in some cases. If some task can be performed on one machine or session or inside one process then splitting it across several computers, sessions, or processes usually results in logs with added Distributed Infrastructure Messages (DIMs) such as from proxies, channels and their management:


So, one of the trace simplification strategies is to request the reproduction and its tracing in a simplified environment (such as inside one terminal services session) to eliminate DIMs. In one case, we analyzed a trace for a clipboard paste problem in Windows terminal services environment. After a clipboard copy different data was pasted to different applications. The same behavior was observed for application processes running inside different sessions and processes running inside one session. However, the log was collected for the more complex multiple session scenario with many False Positive Errors which completely disappeared from one session scenario log.

DIM abbreviation played a role in naming this pattern. Additionally, if sessions can be considered a second dimension, then separate VMs can be considered as a third dimension, separate clouds as a 4th dimension, and so on.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

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