A collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and software toolmaker Allinea Software has produced a formidable weapon in the fight against software application bugs. When it is released this summer, Allinea DDT will allow programmers to analyze applications running 220,000 simultaneous processes and identify problems as they arise.
Software-writing mistakes or "bugs" can be a pain for even the simplest applications, forcing developers to go through their code line by line to find and fix errors. These bugs become far more serious when the applications are written for the world's most powerful supercomputers, as leading scientific applications can be tens of thousands of lines long and run on hundreds of thousands of processors simultaneously.
The ORNL-Allenia project "means application developers have a chance to debug their code in a reasonable amount of time at scale," says ORNL Application Performance Tools Group leader Richard Graham. "They won't have to write special case code to debug things, and go through the process of debugging the debug code. It lets you get at information that's very time-consuming to get at otherwise."