The evolution of distributed architectures and programming paradigms for performance-oriented program development, challenge the state-of-the-art technology for performance tools. The area of high performance computing is rapidly expanding from single parallel systems to clusters and grids of heterogeneous sequential and parallel systems. Performance analysis and tuning applications is becoming crucial because it is hardly possible to otherwise achieve the optimum performance of any application. The objective of this paper is to study the state-of-the-art technology of the existing performance tools for distributed systems. The paper surveys some representative tools from different aspects in order to highlight the approaches and technologies used by them.