Why having a consistent recording ?
After +25 years of computer business we still lack of consistent performance monitoring between different operating systems, each system deploying its own type of monitoring and data collection. UNIX systems try to stay a bit close with each other since all are POSIX systems and follow similar industry standards, like The Open Group.
If we step back and we look other industries, how are they doing it, we see a completely different picture.
Aerospace industry: FDR. Airplanes for examples use some sort of recorders, usually found as a device called flight data recorder FDR, used to store aircraft data parameters. Such unit is found by default on many airplanes nowadays and its usage is regulated by governments and federal administrations, example FAA in United States. This device sometimes is referred as the black box.
Shipbuilding industry: VDR. Ships, boats or other type of vessels use some sort of recorder, called voyager data recorder VDR, used to store vessel data parameters. Similar to aerospace industry such devices are required when a certain vessel must comply with international standards, example International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS. Used mainly for accident investigation the VDR can serve as preventive maintenance, performance efficiency monitoring, heavy weather damage analysis, accident avoidance and training purposes to improve safety and reduce running costs. This device sometimes is referred as the black box
Auto industry: EDR. Automobiles use some sort of device used to store vehicle parameters, called event data recorder EDR. Again such devices can serve as the main source for accident investigations. EDRs are not enforced by any standard organizations and are not really required by law so their usage varies from vendor to vendor. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA proposed a series of changes to standardize and enforce mandatory EDR installation and usage by vendors. Around 2010 over 85% of all vehicles in US would already have some sort of EDR installed.
Computer industry: None. Computers, mainframes, servers or workstations have no such recording devices installed. Manufacturers are not interested in standardizing this effort since they prefer selling additional software packages which can perform such recording features for an extra cost. The lack of standardization and agreements between vendors resulted in a complete different picture than other industries. Currently, there are houndreads of performance monitoring solutions for computer systems.
What if we try to adopt what other industries are using and define a number of standard recorders, found on each computer system, no matter if that is a database or application server. And what if we use same way no matter what the operating system really is, wouldn't this be great ?
System Data Recorder. Four main recorders responsible to store system: cpu, memory, disk and network overall performance metrics over long periods of time on commodity storage, disks or SSDs. Additional specialized recorders, like Java Virtual Machine, process or network protocol statistics would make SDR a complete recording system suitable for many types of computer systems.