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1.3. PMDA Development

A collection of Performance Metrics Domain Agents (PMDAs) are provided with PCP to extract performance metrics. Each PMDA encapsulates domain-specific knowledge and methods about performance metrics that implement the uniform access protocols and functional semantics of the PCP. There is one PMDA for the operating system, another for process specific statistics, one each for common DBMS products, and so on. Thus, the range of performance metrics can be easily extended by implementing and integrating new PMDAs. Chapter 2, Writing a PMDA, is a step-by-step guide to writing your own PMDA.

1.3.1. Overview

Once you are familiar with the PCP and PMDA frameworks, you can quickly implement a new PMDA with only a few data structures and functions. This book contains detailed discussions of PMDA architecture and the integration of PMDAs into the PCP framework. This includes integration with PMCD. However, details of extracting performance metrics from the underlying instrumentation vary from one domain to another and are not covered in this book.
A PMDA is responsible for a set of performance metrics, in the sense that it must respond to requests from PMCD for information about performance metrics, instance domains, and instantiated values. The PMCD process generates requests on behalf of monitoring tools that make requests using PMAPI functions.
You can incorporate new performance metrics into the PCP framework by creating a PMDA, then reconfiguring PMCD to communicate with the new PMDA.