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Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud Paperback – October 26, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0133390094 ISBN-10: 0133390098 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (October 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0133390098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133390094
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brendan Gregg, lead performance engineer at Joyent, analyzes performance and scalability throughout the software stack. As performance lead and kernel engineer at Sun Microsystems (and later Oracle), his work included developing the ZFS L2ARC, a pioneering file system technology for improving performance using flash memory. He has invented and developed many performance tools, including some that ship with Mac OS X and Oracle® Solaris™ 11. His recent work has included performance visualizations for Linux and illumos kernel analysis. For contributions to system administration, and his work on performance analysis methodologies, he is the recipient of the USENIX 2013 LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration. He is also a coauthor of Dtrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD (Prentice Hall, 2011),  and Solaris™ Performance and Tools: DTrace and MDB Techniques for Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris, (Prentice Hall, 2007).

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
The book is well written and I enjoy the breadth and depth of the topics.
Joe in Los Angeles
The author goes beyond the intricacies of performance analysis and shows how to interpret and visualize statistical information gathered from the observability tools.
Harry J. Foxwell, PhD
To conclude, I highly recommend this book: it should become mandatory reading material for students working in systems research.
Pietro Michiardi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Bernhard on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can still remember when i was downloading Brendan Gregg webinars about disk I/Os. It was obvious, this guy knew a lot about it and could explain it in most efficient way. I was just getting frustrated that all this knowledge was not put into a book. A few years later the "precious" is here ! This book is simply amazing, covering all possible aspects of system performance. You will not be overwhelmed : Brendan knows how to find a good balance between over simplification and too much details. You will learn what you really need to know (the internals), the good methods, the right tools. I can't thank enough Brendan Gregg to bring this new master piece i was waiting for so long.

If you're a system administration, a developper, a "true" database administrator trying to understand how your database is likely to interact with the operating system & hardware, here you are. You can't afford to miss this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pietro Michiardi on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book because of its technical depth and rigour: topics are very well developed, and references are generally appropriate (although I sometimes found myself hoping for some must-read "academic" papers to be referenced as well).

In my humble opinion, the use of this book goes beyond that of being a reference for system administrators and performance engineers: I use it extensively to guide my experimental evaluation of the performance of new applications or system components, as it provides solid methodologies that can be clearly described and used by others to validate results.

To conclude, I highly recommend this book: it should become mandatory reading material for students working in systems research.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Forrest L. Norvell on December 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good books on analyzing performance seem to come out once every ten years or so, and this is this generation's classic work. Brendan's background in the development of DTrace and the analytic framework that he and his colleagues at Sun / Oracle and then Joyent have built up around it, as well as the methodologies he's been instrumental in developing (most notably the USE method), give him pretty much a unique level of analytic power. He organizes this material conceptually, grounding it in a discussion of tools and methods in chapter 2 and then working through those methods in the chapters that examine such performance topics as CPUs, operating systems, applications, and the like.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harry J. Foxwell, PhD on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Long ago, the prerequisite UNIX performance book was Adrian Cockcroft's 1994 classic, Sun Performance and Tuning: Sparc & Solaris, later updated in 1998 as Java and the Internet. As Solaris evolved to include the invaluable DTrace observability features, new essential performance references have been published, such as Solaris Performance and Tools: DTrace and MDB Techniques for Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris (2006) by McDougal, Mauro, and Gregg, and DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD (2011), also by Mauro and Gregg.

Much has occurred in Solaris Land since those books appeared, notably Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010 and the demise of the OpenSolaris community. But operating system technologies have continued to improve markedly in recent years, driven by stunning advances in multicore processor architecture, virtualization, and the massive scalability requirements of cloud computing.

A new performance reference was needed, and I eagerly waited for something that thoroughly covered modern, distributed computing performance issues from the ground up. Well, there's a new classic now, authored yet again by Brendan Gregg, former Solaris kernel engineer at Sun and now Lead Performance Engineer at Joyent.

Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud is a modern, very comprehensive guide to general system performance principles and practices, as well as a highly detailed reference for specific UNIX and Linux observability tools used to examine and diagnose operating system behaviour.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MarylandY's on October 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you do systems, you must read this book. This book has a lot of useful information that can be used to dispel many of the myths or unknowns of systems performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe in Los Angeles on July 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this to be an excellent resource. I've been reading it slowly in my spare time and on plane rides and it's a big book, I'm about half way now.

The book is well written and I enjoy the breadth and depth of the topics. Each of which is covert from a near beginner to an almost expert level. Which is good for me because my understanding of the topics Brendan covers spans the same range, some I've barely heard of others I use almost every week.

He does cover both Linux and Solaris which make some of the procedure descriptions a bit repetititve but we do have a 90-10 split of Linux and Solaris machines and I may get stuck on a Solaris box one of these days.

My only criticism so far is the glossary could be more complete, I would like to have had EVERY acronym he uses in there because of the slow pace, I'm reading I don't remember the ones we don't use. Very common problem.

I'm using it to increase my skills in tracking down performance problems in software I develop and deploy for an international scientific collaboration. Fortunately for me, I haven't had a hard performance problem since I started reading the book, but I'm not sure how quickly I could use such a tome to solve a specific problem. On the other hand I have used many things I've learned to gain a better understanding of things that are working.

I like most of the reviewers so far would recommend it for anyone with even basic skills who is interested in understanding the issues affecting System Performance.

I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because of how broad an audience it addresses. While that's a good thing in that people can find what they need it also means there is a lot they don't need.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Brendan Gregg is a senior performance architect at Netflix, where he does large scale computer performance design, analysis, and tuning. He is the author of multiple technical books including Systems Performance published by Prentice Hall, and received the USENIX 2013 LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration.

He was previously a performance lead and kernel engineer at Sun Microsystems, where he developed the ZFS L2ARC and worked on performance. He has also created numerous performance analysis tools, which have been included in multiple operating systems. His recent work includes developing methodologies and visualizations for performance analysis. Born in Australia and later working in the Asia Pacific region, he has lived in the US since 2006.

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