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Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud 1st Edition
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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).
Top customer reviews
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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.
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. Nobody would write a book like this that only had what I need on the topic but I'm saving the 5 star rating for something that knocks my socks off. This is well worth the price if you take the time to not only read it but become familiar with the techniques presented.
If you are good at linux(or solaris) and interested in system and application performance, tracing and profiling, but you have some messy knowledge about this things - this book is for you.
It is not about system administration, but it's between programming and adminstration.
Reading this book and feel like i'm breaking through the wall of ignorance. Last time experienced similar feelings when reading Andrew Tanenbaum's books. This one is less theoretical, more practical.
Another reviewer called Gregg's methods "pseudo-scientific" but I don't think scientific vs. non-scientific is even slightly useful to describe this book. In medicine we have medical research, and medical practice. The two are done in completely different ways (and thank goodness for that!) but few call the General Practitioner's methods "pseudo scientific." Instead they call it the Doctor's work an "art and a practice" which is in fact the very best we can get. So too is performance engineering in working systems.
There is at least one Linux foible though. Gregg's description of how the fork() call works is a bug (er, um, feature?) unique to Solaris which may cause memory starvation if forking many small processes from a large JVM. It doesn't happen in any other Unix/Linux I know of. However, we must forgive him for the otherwise excellent and comprehensive reference work.
One star was deducted because the book binding failed as soon as I opened it and several pages from the introduction became unglued.