Archive for the ‘Windows System Administration’ Category

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 -

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 -

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 -

Windows Software Trace Analysis Training

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

This is the first initiative for the year of software trace analysis: the first and unique software trace and log analysis training based entirely on patterns of software behavior. No longer you will be frustrated when opening a software trace with millions of messages from hundreds of software components, threads and processes.

Memory Dump Analysis Services (DumpAnalysis.com) organizes a training course:

Learn how to efficiently and effectively analyze software traces and logs from complex software environments. Covered popular software logs and trace formats from Microsoft and Citrix products and tools including Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) and Citrix Common Diagnostics Format (CDF). Learn how to use pioneering and innovative pattern-driven software problem behavior analysis to troubleshoot and debug software incidents.

If your are registered you are allowed to optionally submit your software traces and logs 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 and additional homework exercises. 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. Free Dump Analysis World Network membership including updates to full PDF transcript Q&A section

Prerequisites: Basic Windows troubleshooting.

Audience: Software technical support and escalation engineers, software maintenance engineers, system administrators.

Session 1: October 12, 2012 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM BST
Session 2: October 15, 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/5287623225237732608

Accelerated Software Trace Analysis Logo

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

Software Problem Description Language (Part 1)

Friday, November 11th, 2011

One of the new initiatives for 2012 is the development of SPDL (Software Problem Description Language). Its purpose is automatic generation of a software troubleshooting tool(s) based on the description of a problem. Here software problem means a post-construction problem as outlined in Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Problem Solving. The tool construction will utilize an expanded set of DebugWare and Workaround patterns together with the refind version of RADII software development process. This will also provide necessary effectiveness, efficiency and enhanced problem solving capabilities to existing TaaS (Tools as a Service) implementations that are limited in the number of tools they offer.

- 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 -

Windows Internals 6

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Just noticed on Amazon that the new 6th edition of Windows Internals is planned for the next year and so I pre-ordered my copy. According to publication data it will now be released in parts: Windows Internals, Part 1: Covering Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

However, the first part seems to be voluminous: more than 1,300 pages and it makes my job to finish writing Windows Internals Distilled (ISBN: 978-1906717247) difficult than ever :-) Moreover, I will probably need to restart my Windows Internals reading notes on Software Generalist blog.

- 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 -

New Book: Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

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

  • Title: Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis: Training Course Transcript and WinDbg Practice Exercises with Notes
  • Description: The full transcript of Memory Dump Analysis Services Training with 21 step-by-step exercises, notes, source code of specially created modeling applications and selected Q&A. Covers about 50 crash dump analysis patterns from process, kernel and complete memory dumps.
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Memory Dump Analysis Services
  • Publisher: OpenTask (August 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043290

Table of Contents

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

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

Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis Training Course (November)

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Due to popular demand (the previous training was fully booked) Memory Dump Analysis Services scheduled the next training sessions.

Learn how to analyze application, service and system crashes and freezes, navigate through memory dump space and diagnose heap 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 more than 20 practical step-by-step exercises using WinDbg highlighting more than 50 patterns diagnosed in 32-bit and 64-bit process, kernel and complete memory dumps.

Public preview (selected slides) of the previous training

Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis Logo

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a training course.

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

The training consists of 4 two-hour sessions (2 hours every day). When you finish the training you additionally get:

  1. A full transcript in PDF format (retail price $200)
  2. 5 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format (retail price $100)
  3. A personalized attendance certificate with unique CID (PDF format)

Prerequisites: Basic Windows troubleshooting

Session 1: November 1, 2011 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM GMT
Session 2: November 2, 2011 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM GMT
Session 3: November 3, 2011 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM GMT
Session 4: November 4, 2011 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM GMT

Price: 210 USD

Space is limited.
Reserve your remote training seat now.

If scheduled dates or time are not suitable for you Memory Dump Analysis Services offers the same training in book format

Training testimonials:

I would like to thank you and recommend your training. I think that the “Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis” training is a pin-point, well taught training. I think it’s the leading training in the dump analysis area and I’ve enjoyed it, the books and materials are very detailed and well written and Dmitry answered all of the needed question. In addition after the training Dmitry sent a PDF with written answers and more information about the questions that were asked. I will give this training 5/5. Thank you Dmitry.

Yaniv Miron, Security Researcher, IL.Hack 

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

Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis Training Course

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Learn how to analyze application, service and system crashes and freezes, navigate through memory dump space and diagnose heap 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.

Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis Logo

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a training course.

If you are registered you are allowed to optionally submit your memory dumps before the training. This will allow us in addition to the carefully constructed problems tailor extra examples to the needs of the attendees. All registrants will receive an optional pre-test before the first session and an optional test after each session.

The training consists of 2 four-hour sessions (4 hours on the first day and 4 hours on the next day). When you finish the training you additionally get:

  1. A full transcript in PDF format (retail price $200)
  2. 5 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format (retail price $100)
  3. An attendance certificate (PDF format)

Prerequisites: Basic Windows troubleshooting

Session 1: August 1, 2011 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM BST
Session 2: August 2, 2011 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM BST

Price: 210 USD

Space is limited.
Reserve your remote training seat now.

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

Just In Time Crash Analysis Report (JIT CAR)

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Imagine a pattern-driven crash analysis report (car) when you need it: at the very moment of a crash, just in time! And the car drives you to a problem resolution. Imagine also a periodic pattern-driven just-in-time memory space analysis (JIT MSA) that provides you instant intelligent reports on what’s going on inside memory while your application, service or system is running! This is a forthcoming optional client side part of CARE (Crash Analysis Report Environment) which is being developed by Memory Dump Analysis Services engineering team under the leadership of Alexey Golikov. Combined with generative debugging techniques both client and server parts form a complete unique enterprise crash and hang analysis solution suitable for development and production environments. Stay tuned for further exciting updates.

PS. The car drives on a road to the first fault software problem solving.

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

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5 is available for download

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 5 is available in PDF format:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+5

It features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Its table of contents is available here:

www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V5-TOC.pdf

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 6 that should be available in November-December.

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

Debugging in 2021: Trends for the Next Decade (Part 1)

Friday, December 17th, 2010

As the new decade is approaching (2011-2020) we would like to make a few previews and predictions:

- Increased complexity of software will bring more methods from biological, social sciences and humanities in addition to existing methods of automated debugging and computer science techniques

- Focus on first fault software problem solving (when aspect)

- Focus on pattern-driven software problem solving (how aspect)

- Fusion of debugging and malware analysis into a unified structural and behavioral pattern framework

- Visual debugging, memory and software trace visualization techniques

- Software maintenance certification

- Focus on domain-driven troubleshooting and debugging tools as a service (debugware TaaS)

- Focus on security issues related to memory dumps and software traces

- New scripting languages and programming language extensions for debugging

- The maturation of the science of memory snapshots and software traces (memoretics)

Imagining is not not limited to the above and more to come and explain in the forthcoming parts.

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

Memory Analysis as a Service

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

MAaaS includes 2 complementary DA+TA services:

1. Dump Analysis as a Service (DAaaS)
2. Trace Analysis as a Service (TAaaS)

Memory Dump Analysis Services is the first organization to provide such a service at an audit and certification levels.

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

Memory Dump Analysis Audit Service

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Memory Dump Analysis Services announces the launch of the first Memory Dump Analysis Audit Service:

http://www.dumpanalysis.com/memory-dump-analysis-audit-service

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

Forthcoming Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Five volumes of cross-disciplinary Anthology (dubbed by the author “The Summa Memorianica”) lay the foundation of the scientific discipline of Memoretics (study of computer memory snapshots and their evolution in time) that is also called Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis.ca

The 5th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about crash dump, software trace analysis and debugging written in February 2010 - October 2010 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 fifth volume features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-96-4
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-97-1

Back cover features memory space art image Hot Computation: Memory on Fire.

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

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 4 is available for download

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 4 is available in PDF format:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+4

It features:

- 15 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 13 new pattern interaction case studies
- 10 new trace analysis patterns
- 6 new Debugware patterns and case study
- Workaround patterns
- Updated checklist
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3
- Memory visualization tutorials
- Memory space art

Its table of contents is available here:

http://www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V4-TOC.pdf

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 5 that should be available in December.

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

Malware Analysis Report System (MARS)

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I detour for MARS expedition. You may also call it Memory Analysis Report System as malware analysis is always exploration of memory (in general). Why is this sudden change of course? After reading Gilles Deleuze I want to broaden the concept of “malware” and give it new orientation and direction of thinking. Beside that I also want new challenges after many years of research in pattern-driven memory dump and software trace analysis of abnormal software behaviour.

You may have also noticed small restructuring (rebranding) of this blog and DumpAnalysis.org headers.

See you there :-)

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

Forthcoming Webinars in Q4, 2010

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The choice of webinars below mostly reflects my personal preferences and long time desire to speak on topics like systems thinking, troubleshooting tool design and development. The other topic about BSOD minidump analysis was requested by participants in an ongoing survey. There will be more topics in 2011. All forthcoming webinars will be hosted by Memory Dump Analysis Services. The planning list includes:

Systems Thinking in Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis

Software Troubleshooting and Debugging Tools: Objects, Components, Patterns and Frameworks with UML

  • UML basics
  • DebugWare patterns
  • Unified Troubleshooting Framework
  • RADII software development process
  • Hands-on exercise: designing and building a tool

Blue Screen Of Death Analysis Done Right: Minidump Investigation for System Administrators

  • Making sense of !analyze –v output
  • Get extra troubleshooting information with additional WinDbg commands
  • Guessing culprits with raw stack analysis
  • Who’s responsible: hardware or software?
  • Checklist and patterns
  • Including hands-on exercises: send your own minidumps

More detailed information will be available soon. 

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