BRISK: a portable and flexible distributed instrumentation system. Researchers and practitioners in the area of parallel and distributed computing have been lacking a portable, flexible and robust distributed instrumentation system. We present the Baseline Reduced Instrumentation System Kernel (BRISK) that we have developed as a part of a real-time system instrumentation and performance visualization project. The design is based on a simple distributed instrumentation system model for flexibility and extensibility. The basic implementation poses minimalistic system requirements and achieves high performance. We show evaluations of BRISK using two distinct configurations: one emphasizes isolated simple performance metrics; and the other BRISK’s operation on distributed applications, its built-in clock synchronization and dynamic on-line sorting algorithms.