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O'Reilly Network: Improving Compilation Times: A Case Study in Performance Analysis

Feb 25, 2002, 15:02 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gian-Paolo D. Musumeci)
"The complaint of the software developers is that compiling one of their products, which consists of about 100,000 lines of C, takes too long--they've timed it at about 18 minutes. They want to see compilation times around 12 minutes, or about a 35% speedup, without any change to the compiler output. Furthermore, management has established that there are no funds available for this project, so they'll have to make do with the hardware they have.

Because this piece of software is pretty critical to the performance of their entire application suite, it's compiled with a very high level of optimizations: -fast -xarch=v8plusa.

Before we start looking at the system's workload, let's figure out what we might suspect to be bottlenecks and plan a tuning strategy. Based on how we think compilation stresses the system, we suspect that we will need to look at memory consumption, CPU usage, and disk I/O. Since NFS isn't involved, networking isn't likely to be a problem."

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