An instrumentation system profiles an application using structural metadata description of the application. Units (such as COM objects) of the application have strongly-typed, binary-standard interfaces, and are profiled, for example, using an executable file and DLLs for the application. A structural metadata description of the application includes compiled, interface-level type information used to identify and measure interaction between units of the application. For example, the type information is produced by analyzing IDL information. Profiling results in an application profile that includes description of the static relationships and/or dynamic interactions between units of the application. The application profile is combined with a network profile that describes a distributed computing environment. Analysis of the result yields a distribution plan, which, for example, reduces costs associated with communication between the units. During execution, units of the application are distributed through the distributed computing environment according to the distribution plan.