This web page refers to our older busTRACE 7.0 which is no longer shipping. Click here for details on our latest generation busTRACE software.

busTRACE This WEB page comes from the busTRACE 7.0 User's Manual. (Table of Contents)

Previous Topic Next Topic

Cost effective

Hardware bus analyzers typically cost ten to twenty times as much as busTRACE. For the cost of one hardware bus analyzer, you could provide each engineer in a department their own copy of busTRACE 7.0.

Multiple bus architecture support

busTRACE can capture I/O activity across a wide variety of bus architectures including USB, USB 2.0, ATA, SATA, ATAPI, Fibre Channel, SCSI, iSCSI, 1394 (storage I/O only), RAID, SAS, and more. Hardware analyzers typically support only one type of bus architecture. If they do support more than one, you usually need to purchase an additional hardware "pod" for the new architecture thereby increasing your cost even further.

Easy to transport

The only hardware requirement with busTRACE is that you install our busTRACE Flash Drive on the system running busTRACE (requires a free USB port). If you are analyzing I/O activity, it is fast and simple to install busTRACE on any system whether it is in your lab, in your office, at a customer site, or anywhere. In fact, sine the busTRACE installer is pre-installed on the busTRACE Flash Drive, you will always have the software with you. Hardware analyzers are far more difficult to transport around, particularly if you want to move from system to system, or if you're visiting a customer site.

Easy to use

busTRACE is far simpler to use than conventional hardware bus analyzers. When you run busTRACE, you simply place a checkmark on the devices you are interested in analyzing and then click on the Capture button. A detailed bus capture then occurs. The user friendly busTRACE interface, with powerful bus analysis features, is designed to be used by any engineer from junior level to the most senior level. Hardware analyzers, on the other hand, typically require a specialized skill that only the most senior engineers have.

Detailed command/data analysis

busTRACE prides itself on not just showing you a dump of hex data that was sent or received from a device. busTRACE will look at the data and decode it into human readable terms. For example, we decode Command Descriptor Blocks (CDBs) in a format nearly identical to the format you would see in the device's command specification. This greatly speeds up your bus analysis efforts.

Ability to view I/O activity from the OS perspective

Keep in mind that busTRACE is capturing I/O activity from the operating system's perspective. This can be advantageous in a number of ways.

  1. When possible, we show you which driver is generating the I/O. This can help diagnose software conflicts.
  2. You can see what the I/O timeout values are set for the I/O being sent. This can help you diagnose why the operating system reset the bus and/or aborted I/O activity. From the hardware perspective, all you would see is a bus reset without understanding why it occurs.
  3. There are times when no error appears on the actual hardware bus, but the I/O fails internally. This could be caused by a driver bug, for example. busTRACE can help diagnose this type of failure too.