Be your support engineer’s best friend
First Published Thursday, 16th July 2009 12:26 am from Real-Time Innovations (RTI) : Jan Van Bruaene
The opinions expressed by this blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, this does not reflect the opinion of Automated Trader or any employee thereof. Automated Trader is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by this article.
In my previous post, I detailed
two resources for answers to commonly asked questions or to look
up specific known issues. Of course that requires you to at last
know what to ask or look for. Before getting there you probably
want to find out more about how the middleware is doing, or in
the event of a defect, contextual information to provide to the
RTI support team. Other than a reproducer, the following
configuration, error and status information makes life for a
support engineer so much easier.
RTI Data Distribution Service
provides a great amount of information about the status of your
real-time distributed system. Being able to collect and log this
information is essential to start debugging a DDS based
application. There are several ways to implement a logging system
which has minimal impact on performance and does not require a
recompile. Before we get to that, let's first take a
look at what information is available and what will typically be
requested by the support engineer.
The RTI middleware is
configured through various Quality of Service (QoS) parameters.
QoS parameters can be specified for different DDS entities:
domain participant, publisher/subscriber, and writer/reader. Easy
access to the QoS configuration of each DDS entity within an
application is a must. At a minimum the list should include QoS
parameters which have been changed from the default values. When
using version 4.3 or later of RTI's middleware QoS parameters can
be loaded from an XML file. The XML file is an easy way to change
the QoS parameters at start up time, but also to share the
Part of how each DDS
application is configured is how it will discover other
applications and matching DDS topics. Gathering the following
discovery information is key:
is my initial peer list of each domain
participant, used to initially announce myself to other
- What is multicast
receive address used by various domain participants?
Is multicast enabled in my DDS
- What transport are enabled
and what are the transport
properties used by each domain participant? These
properties configure the UDP and shared memory transports at a
logging and status information
default RTI Data Distribution Service will log error messages
class to the console. The default verbosity configuration is
We encourage you to log this information to a file, and to allow
the verbosity level to be modified either at run time or at start
up to include warnings
) or overall status information
DDS status information
- DDS data readers and writers maintain status
information which can be queried or can be made available through
corresponding callback routines when a change in status occurs.
This status information provides a great deal of insight into
each entity. Not all of these status fields are indicative of an
error. However they will help in debugging a problem or a
mis-configuration. It is strongly recommended to instrument the
corresponding callbacks and log changes to the following data
reader and data writer status fields:
DDS Data Reader status
DDS Data Writer status
The DDS Data Writer
provides a summary of the state of a data writer's cache of
unacknowledged samples written. Logging this continuously will
likely have an impact on performance as the callback will be
triggered each time all samples have been acknowledged. We
recommend to implement the ability to turn this on at start up or
at run time as needed.
DDS Data Reader and Writer Cache
and Protocol status - Version 4.3e and
what is going on at the protocol level. Making this information
selectively available will speed up isolation of the problem. The
protocol status provides information such as the number of
samples pushed, filtered and the status of wire protocol traffic.
The cache status provides information about the queue: e.g.
number of samples in the reader or writer
For examples or
tips on how to implement the recommended guidelines above, href="mailto:email@example.com">contact RTI support or
visit the RTI Customer
Portal solution section.
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