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We present the architecture and implementation of a Node.js/DTrace-based distributed platform for analyzing the performance of cloud applications in real-time. We will give an overview of the system’s architecture, paying specific attention to the design tradeoffs that allow it to operate in real-time and on a production cloud. We will then discuss the novel data visualizations used by the system to convey understanding of complex distributed systems behavior. Finally, we will demonstrate the system on a real, internet-facing cloud and cover some of the interesting performance pathologies that this system has helped understand.
David Pacheco is the lead engineer of Joyent’s Introspection Team, which develops Cloud Analytics and other tools for observing software in the cloud. Previously a member of Sun’s Fishworks team, David worked on several areas of the Sun Storage 7000 series of appliances including remote replication, fault management, and flash device support.
Brendan Gregg is the lead performance engineer at Joyent, where he analyzes performance and scalability at any level of the software stack. He is the author of the upcoming book “Systems Performance” (Prentice Hall, 2013), and co-author of “DTrace” (Prentice Hall, 2011) and “Solaris Performance and Tools” (Prentice Hall, 2006). He was previously a performance lead and kernel engineer at Sun Microsystems where he developed the ZFS L2ARC, and later Oracle. He has also invented and developed numerous performance analysis tools, including some that are shipped by default in Mac OS X and Oracle Solaris 11. His recent work has included performance visualizations for illumos and Linux kernel analysis.
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