Archive for the ‘Escalation Engineering’ Category

Software Diagnostics Report Schemes (Part 1)

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

These are important meta-patterns of monitoring and software problem analysis reports. It is often the case that we have software artifacts and some problem description and we need to provide recommendations on further troubleshooting. Most of the time such an analysis and associated response fit into abstract schemes where we can just substitute variables for concrete states, actions, artifacts and behavioral descriptions. Sometimes we also have difficulty to write such analysis reports so we hope report schemes is of help here to provide organizing templates for thought process. The first such scheme we call Missing Cause Trace:

  1. If Action then Behavior
  2. We have a trace of Behavior
  3. We need a trace of Action and Behavior

The difference with Truncated Trace pattern here is that in a truncated trace it was intended to trace certain behaviour but the tracing session was stopped prematurely or started too late. In a missing cause trace only a part of necessary activity was traced and the missing part wasn’t thought of or considered for tracing.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Webinar: Introduction to Philosophy of Software Diagnostics

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Learn from this Webinar about phenomenological, hermeneutical and analytical approaches to software diagnostics and its knowledge, foundations, norms, theories, logic, methodology, language, ontology, nature and truth. This seminar is hosted by Software Diagnostics Services.

 Introduction to Philosophy of Software Diagnostics Logo

Title: Introduction to Philosophy of Software Diagnostics
Date: 17th of December, 2012
Time: 19:00 GMT
Duration: 60 minutes

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/872846486

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Software Diagnostics Services

Friday, July 13th, 2012

For some time I was struggling with finding a good name for memory dump and software trace analysis activities. The name Memoretics I use for the science of memory dump analysis (that also incorporates software traces) seems not so good to describe the whole practical activity that should be transparent to everyone in IT. Fortunately, I timely understood that all these activities constitute the essence of software diagnostics that previously lacked any solid foundation. Thus, Software Diagnostics Institute was reborn from the previous Crash Dump Analysis Portal. This institute does pure and applied research and scientific activities and in recent years was funded mainly from OpenTask publisher and recently from Memory Dump Analysis Services. The latter company also recognized that the broadening of its commercial activities requires a new name. So, Software Diagnostics Services was reborn:

The First Comprehensive Software Diagnostics Service

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

7 Habits of Highly Effective Diagnosticians (Part 0)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Motivated by 7 Habits of Highly Effective Debuggers I would like to reflect on a distinction between diagnostics and problem solving as separate processes (although highly related). First, we reverse the precept from that article because stories such as software logs and traces are of primary importance to software diagnostics (and not only). And without diagnostics there is no effective debugging (treatment, problem solving, etc.)

The Principle Precept of Diagnostics

Stories NOT Statistics secure certainty.

Next parts will be about actual habits so please stay tuned. I would try to finish this list before the forthcoming Webinar on software diagnostics.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming 2nd edition of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

After 4 years in print this bestselling title needs an update to address minor changes, include extra examples and reference additional research published in Volumes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Publisher: OpenTask (Summer 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-35-1
  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-36-8

The cover for both paperback and hardcover titles will also have a matte finish. We used A Memory Window artwork for the back cover.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Transcript of Introduction to Software Narratology Webinar

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

In a week this short full color book should appear in online bookstores:

  • Title: Software Narratology: An Introduction to the Applied Science of Software Stories
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Memory Dump Analysis Services
  • Description: This is a transcript of Memory Dump Analysis Services Webinar about Software Narratology: an exciting new discipline and a field of research founded by DumpAnalysis.org. When software executes it gives us its stories in the form of UI events, software traces and logs. Such stories can be analyzed for their structure and patterns for troubleshooting, debugging and problem resolution purposes. Topics also include software narremes and their types, anticipatory software construction and software diagnostics.
  • Publisher: OpenTask (April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • Paperback: 26 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043078

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a free Webinar on Unified Software Diagnostics (USD) and the new scalable cost-effective software support model called Pattern-Driven Software Support devised to address various shortcomings in existing tiered software support organizations. Examples cover Windows, Mac OS  and Linux.

 Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics Logo

Date: 22nd of June, 2012
Time: 17:00 (BST) 12:00 (EST) 09:00 (PST)
Duration: 60 minutes

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/172771078

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Book: Inside Windows Debugging

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Discovered this forthcoming book and immediately preordered:

Inside Windows Debugging: A Practical Guide to Debugging and Tracing Strategies in Windows

From Safari Books Online table of contents I see it also includes Event Tracing for Windows:

http://my.safaribooksonline.com/book/-/9780735671348

Looking forward to reading it and writing a review.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Music for Debugging: Make It Through This Trace

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Software trace analysis is notoriously difficult so a bit of folk music is needed to make debugging sessions less boring. The following album came to my attention in a local library and after listening to it I recommend it for software log analysis sessions:

Make It Through This World

Here’s my own track title interpretation:

1. Dream Away The Defects
2. This I’d Analyze
3. A Magnifier
4. Make It Through This Trace
5. Don’t Let It Go Unanalyzed
6. Request-Reply Pair
7. I Love It When It’s Short
8. No Higher Specs
9. Said, Said.
10. When I Think Of You, My Customers
11. Close to The Defect
12. A Debugger For You Now

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Software Problem Description Patterns (Part 1)

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

The development of SPDL requires extending pattern-driven analysis approach to software problems such as software defect and software incident descriptions. Such a pattern language should help with accurate problem identification and problem resolution through software behaviour analysis and with choosing, for example, appropriate workaround patterns or, for a debugging strategy, unified debugging patterns. This can also be applicable to software security incident descriptions as well.

For this first part, we introduce a pattern called, Problem Summary. This is a very short description that summarizes the essence of the problem from a submitter point of view such as a software user or a technical support engineer. Whether it is correct or incorrect is another problem itself but the missing summary usually requires close reading of the whole problem description text and analyze together various relevant parts to reconstruct the summary.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis Training

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis Logo

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a new training course:

Description: Learn how to analyze app crashes and freezes, navigate through process core memory dump space and diagnose corruption, memory leaks, CPU spikes, blocked threads, deadlocks, wait chains, and much more. We use a unique and innovative pattern-driven analysis approach to speed up the learning curve. The training consists of practical step-by-step exercises using Xcode and GDB environments highlighting various patterns diagnosed in 64-bit process core memory dumps. The training also includes an overview of relevant similarities and differences between Windows and Mac OS X user space memory dump analysis useful for engineers with Wintel background.

If you are registered you are allowed to optionally submit your app core dumps before the training. This will allow us in addition to the carefully constructed problems tailor additional examples to the needs of the attendees.

The training consists of 2 two-hour sessions. When you finish the training you additionally get:

  1. A full transcript in PDF format (retail price $200)
  2. 6 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format (retail price $120)
  3. A personalized attendance certificate with unique CID (PDF format)
  4. Mac OS X Debugging: Practical Foundations in PDF format (retail price $15)
  5. Free Dump Analysis World Network membership including updates to full PDF transcript Q&A section

Prerequisites: Basic Mac OS X troubleshooting and debugging

Audience: Software technical support and escalation engineers, system administrators, software developers and quality assurance engineers.

Session 1: October 19, 2012 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM BST
Session 2: October 22, 2012 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM BST

Price: 210 USD

Space is limited.
Reserve your remote training seat now at:
https://student.gototraining.com/r/3803636572165653760

If you are mainly interested in Windows memory dump analysis there is another course available:

Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Webinar Introduction to Software Narratology: An Applied Science of Software Stories

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Memory Dump Analysis Services (DumpAnalysis.com) organizes a free Webinar about software narratology: an application of ideas from narratology to software narrative stories.

Introduction to Software Narratology: An Applied Science of Software Stories Logo

Learn about this exciting new discipline and a field of research. When software executes it gives us its stories in the form of UI events, software traces and logs. Such stories can be analyzed for their structure and patterns for troubleshooting, debugging and problem resolution purposes.

Prerequisites: basic software troubleshooting and ability to read software generated logs.

Audience: anyone can benefit from this new perspective: from software users to software engineers and managers.

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/603136294

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

New Book: Advanced Windows Memory Dump Analysis

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Advanced training sessions time may not suitable due to different geographic time zones. So I have decided to publish this training in a book format (currently in PDF) and make it available in paperback on Amazon and B&N later. Book details:

  • Title: Advanced Windows Memory Dump Analysis with Data Structures: Training Course Transcript and WinDbg Practice Exercises with Notes
  • Description: The full transcript of Memory Dump Analysis Services Training with 10 step-by-step exercises, notes, and selected Q&A.
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Memory Dump Analysis Services
  • Publisher: OpenTask (January 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043344

Table of Contents

Now available for sale in PDF format from Memory Dump Analysis Services.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

LoL (Debugging Slang, Part 28)

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

LoL - Law of Large

Examples: Q. How did you resolve this support case? A. LoL number!

Explanation: The more support incidents you get, the larger their tracking numbers. So at some stage the law of large numbers comes into effect: there is always a similar incident in the past. Don’t confuse with LOL.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

New Book: Accelerated .NET Memory Dump Analysis

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

During the previous several months some companies and individuals expressed their interest in the training (the next one is scheduled for January) but its time was not suitable due to different geographic time zones. So I have decided to publish this training in a book format (currently in PDF) and make it available in paperback on Amazon and B&N later. Book details:

  • Title: Accelerated .NET Memory Dump Analysis: Training Course Transcript and WinDbg Practice Exercises with Notes
  • Description: The full transcript of Memory Dump Analysis Services Training with 7 step-by-step exercises, notes, source code of specially created modeling applications and selected Q&A. Covers 20 .NET memory dump analysis patterns plus additional unmanaged patterns.
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Memory Dump Analysis Services
  • Publisher: OpenTask (November 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043320

Table of Contents

Now available for sale in PDF format from Memory Dump Analysis Services.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Public Preview of Accelerated .NET Memory Dump Analysis Training

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

The slides are available from Memory Dump Analysis Services:

http://www.dumpanalysis.com/Training/Accelerated-NET-Memory-Dump-Analysis-Public.pdf

It also offers the new training sessions in January, 2012:

http://www.dumpanalysis.com/accelerated-net-memory-dump-analysis

http://www.dumpanalysis.com/accelerated-windows-memory-dump-analysis

Also the registration for Advanced training session in December is still open:

http://www.dumpanalysis.com/advanced-windows-memory-dump-analysis

There are also new coming courses for 2012 so stay tuned!

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Volume 6 of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The new 6th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about memory dump and software trace analysis, software troubleshooting and debugging written in November 2010 - October 2011 for software engineers developing and maintaining products on Windows platforms, quality assurance engineers testing software on Windows platforms, technical support and escalation engineers dealing with complex software issues, and security researchers, malware analysts and reverse engineers. The sixth volume features:

  • 56 new crash dump analysis patterns including 14 new .NET memory dump analysis patterns
  • 4 new pattern interaction case studies
  • 11 new trace analysis patterns
  • New Debugware pattern
  • Introduction to UI problem analysis patterns
  • Introduction to intelligence analysis patterns
  • Introduction to unified debugging pattern language
  • Introduction to generative debugging, metadefect template library and DNA of software behaviour
  • The new school of debugging and trends
  • .NET memory dump analysis checklist
  • Software trace analysis checklist
  • Introduction to close and deconstructive readings of a software trace
  • Memory dump analysis compass
  • Computical and Stack Trace Art
  • The abductive reasoning of Philip Marlowe
  • Orbifold memory space and cloud computing
  • Memory worldview
  • Interpretation of cyberspace
  • Relationship of memory dumps to religion
  • Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 6
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (December 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-19-1
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (January 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-20-7

Back cover features 3d memory space visualization image created with ParaView.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Uses of Memoretics

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Memoretics promotes pattern-driven memory dump and software trace analysis which has many uses but not limited to:

  • Software and site reliability
  • Software Debugging
  • QA and Software Testing
  • Computer Security
  • Software Troubleshooting
  • Malware Research and Analysis
  • Tools as a Service (TaaS)
  • Supportability
  • Software Diagnostics

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Crossdisciplinary Memoretics as Interdisciplinary Science

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Memoretics as a science of memory snapshots borrows many ideas from the following disciplines (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Troubleshooting and Debugging
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Forensics
  • Linguistics
  • Archaeology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • History
  • Mathematics: Sets and Categories
  • Literary Criticism and Narratology

It also contributes many ideas back. The following diagram depicts such an interaction:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Abscess (Debugging Slang, Part 27)

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Abscess - A Bad Service and Customer Experience Short Story. Can also be an abbreviation for a bad support …

Examples: After combating an abscess a customer decided to take a social media approach. An abscess process.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -