Profiling on HPC (High Performance Computing) Clusters

You can profile on compute nodes of Microsoft Windows HPC clusters by using the sampling method of the Microsoft Visual Studio Premium or Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate Profiling Tools. For more information about HPC see Windows HPC on the Microsoft Web site.

To profile on a HPC compute node, you must do the following:

  • Install Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 on the same computer as Visual Studio Premium. The computer does not have to be part of the HPC cluster. You can install the HPC Pack at the Microsoft Download Center.

  • Install the .NET Framework 4 and the stand-alone version of the Profiling Tools on the HPC compute node. Install programs for both the .NET Framework and the stand alone profiler are available on the Visual Studio Premium installation media. Note   You must restart the compute after you have installed .NET Framework and before you install the Profiling Tools.

To install the .NET Framework 4 and the stand-alone Profiling Tools on an active HPC compute node and enable profiling on the cluster machine, follow these steps:

  1. Open the command prompt window that is installed with the HPC pack.

  2. Type the following commands at separate command prompts:

    1. clusrun /all /scheduler: %HeadNode% %FxPath% /q /norestart

    2. clusrun /all /scheduler: %HeadNode% shutdown /r /t 0 /d u:4:2 /c "Microsoft .NET Framework install required restart"

    3. clusrun /all /scheduler: %HeadNode% %ProfilerPath% /q /norestart

%HeadNode%

Name of the head node for the cluster.

%FxPath%

Path to the .NET Framework 4 installer. On the Visual Studio Premium installation media the path is: WCU\dotNetFramework\dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64.exe

%ProfilerPath%

Path to the standalone version of the Profiling Tools installer. On the Visual Studio Premium installation media the path is: Standalone Profiler\x64\vs_profiler.exe

You configure a profiling session by using the HPC Performance Wizard to specify the HPC cluster and target information. You can set additional options in the performance session property pages. The Profiling Tools automatically deploy the necessary target binaries and start the profiler and the HPC application.

To profile on an HPC compute node

  1. On the Analyze menu, click Launch HPC Performance Wizard. If the command is not available, make sure that you have the prerequisites listed above.

  2. Click Next on the first page of the wizard.

  3. On the second page of the wizard, select the application that you want to profile.

    • To profile a project that is currently open in Visual Studio, select the One or more available projects option and then select the project name from the list.

    • To profile a binary that is not in an open project select An executable (.EXE file) option.

  4. Click Next.

  5. On the third page of the wizard:

    • If you are profiling an executable that is not in an open project, specify the path to the binary file in What is the full path to the executable.

    • If you are profiling an executable that is not in an open project, you can specify any command-line arguments to pass to the process in Command-line arguments.

    • In Remote working directory, specify the path to the folder that is used by the process instances on the individual compute nodes.

    • In Deployment location, specify the path to the directory that the HPC server uses to stage images for deployment.

  6. Click Next.

  7. On the fourth page of the wizard:

    • In the Head Node list, click the computer that acts as the HPC head node in the profiling run. The Head Node can be "localhost", which enables you to profile on the local machine without the need for a cluster.

    • In the Number of processes list, click the number of instances of the application to run.

    • From the Profiling options list, select the profiling target.

      To profile a specific process in the cluster, select the Profile on rank option and then select the rank of the process from the drop-down list.

      To profile the process or processes that run on a specific node in the HPC cluster, select the Profile on node option and then select the node from the drop-down list.

  8. Click Next.

  9. On the fifth page of the wizard, you can choose to immediately start the profiler and the profiling process or to start profiling later by using Performance Explorer.

    • Select Launch profiling after the wizard finishes to start profiling immediately, or clear the check box to start profiling manually.

  10. Click Finish.

You can change the performance session properties that you set on the HPC Profiling Wizard on the HPC Launch Properties page of the performance session properties page. You set additional options on the HPC Advanced Properties page.

To open the performance session property pages

  1. If necessary, open the performance session (.psess) file in Performance Explorer. On the File menu, click Open and locate the file.

  2. In Performance Explorer, right-click the performance session name and then click Properties.

  3. In the Property Pages dialog box, use one of the following methods:

    • Click General and then select Collect on HPC Cluster to turn HPC profiling on or clear the check box to disable HPC profiling.

    • Click HPC Launch Properties to change the properties that start the HPC application.

    • Click HPC Advanced Properties to set additional options

Property

Description

Head node

Specifies the computer that acts as the HPC head node in the profiling run.

Number of processes

Specifies the number of instances of the application to run in the profiled application.

Profile on rank

To profile a specific process in the cluster, select the Profile on rank option and then select the rank of the process from the drop-down list.

Profile on node

To profile the process or processes that run on a specific node in the HPC cluster, select the Profile on node option and then select the node from the drop-down list.

Remote working directory

Specifies the path to the folder that is used by the process instances on the individual compute nodes.

Deployment location

Specifies the path to the directory that the HPC server uses to stage images for deployment.

Property

Description

Project name

The name of the current Visual Studio project or solution.

Clean up when profiler is stopped

When true, removes the binaries that have been deployed to the execution directory. Files and directories created by the user program are not removed in this step. If the execution directory and deployment directory were created by the IDE, the IDE attempts to remove them but does not do so if they have files not deployed by the IDE.

Additional files to deploy

Specifies a semicolon separated list of any additional files to deploy on the compute node. You can click the ellipsis button (...) to select multiple files by using a dialog box.

Mpiexec command

Specifies the application that starts the MPI application. The default value is mpiexec.exe

Mpiexec arguments

Specifies the arguments to pass to the mpiexec.exe command.

Requested nodes on the cluster

Specifies the number of nodes on the cluster on which to run the application.

Deploy CRT files

When true, deploys the C/C++ run time on the cluster.

Pre-profile script

Specifies the path and file name of a script to run on the local development computer before the profiling session starts.

Pre-profile script arguments

Specifies the arguments to pass to the pre-profile script.

Post-profile script

Specifies the path and file name of a script to run on the local development computer after the profiling session ends.

Post-profile script arguments

Specifies the arguments to pass to the post-profile script.

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