Bio

I hate writing bios. From time to time, conference organizers, journalists, and publishers ask me for a bio of a certain length ("50-75 words, "around 100 words", etc), and so I'll cache my most recent ones here. This page also has my upcoming talks.

Very Short

Industry expert in computing performance and cloud computing. Solves hard problems. Makes things faster.

Short (<75 words)

Brendan Gregg is an industry expert in computing performance and cloud computing. He is a senior performance architect at Netflix, where he does performance design, evaluation, analysis, and tuning. He is the author of BPF Performance Tools (Addison Wesley) and Systems Performance (Prentice Hall), and received the USENIX LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration. Brendan has created numerous performance analysis tools, visualizations, and methodologies for performance analysis, including flame graphs.

Medium (around 100 words)

Brendan Gregg is an industry expert in computing performance and cloud computing. He is a senior performance architect at Netflix, where he does performance design, evaluation, analysis, and tuning. He is the author of multiple technical books including BPF Performance Tools (Addison Wesley) and Systems Performance (Prentice Hall), and received the USENIX LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration. He has also been a kernel engineer and performance lead, and was program co-chair for the USENIX LISA 2018 conference. Brendan has created performance tools included in multiple operating systems, and visualizations and methodologies for performance analysis, including flame graphs.

Long

Brendan Gregg is an industry expert in computing performance and cloud computing. He is a senior performance architect at Netflix, where he does large scale computer performance design, analysis, and tuning. This work includes evaluating new technologies and opportunities, and provides performance expertise to guide major changes and projects. This can involve any application, at any level of the stack, and for cloud instances and physical servers.

At Netflix, Brendan has developed and used analysis tools for the JDK hotspot and Node.js v8 runtimes, the Linux and FreeBSD kernels, the Xen hypervisor, Linux containers, and Docker. He has expertise with and has made contributions to multiple technologies, including Linux perf, Ftrace, extended BPF, PMCs, ZFS, and DTrace. He has developed, debugged, and tuned software in rings 0, 1, and 3. He has also assisted production triage for performance and availability issues, and has been the primary on-call engineer (on the CORE site reliability engineering team rotation) to lead the worldwide response for Netflix outages.

His previous roles have included kernel and performance engineering. While working at Sun Microsystems, he led performance efforts for the world's first ZFS-based storage appliance, helping make it the fastest product of its class. He also developed the ZFS L2ARC – a pioneering file system performance technology which uses flash memory as a second level cache, after main memory.

He is the author of the books "BPF Performance Tools: Linux System and Application Observability" (Addison Wesley, 2019), "Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud" (Prentice Hall, 2013), and is the primary author of "DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD" (Prentice Hall, 2011), and co-author of "Solaris Performance and Tools: DTrace and mdb techniques for Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris" (Prentice Hall, 2006). Brendan has also written numerous articles about systems performance.

For contributions to the field of system administration, particularly his work in systems performance analysis methodologies, he is the recipient of the USENIX 2013 LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration.

Brendan was program co-chair with Rikki Endsley for the USENIX LISA 2018 conference, in its 32nd year. LISA is one of the longest running technology conferences, and focuses on rigorous engineering of large scale computer systems (LISA originally stood for Large Installation System Administration).

Brendan has invented and developed numerous advanced performance analysis tools, methodologies, and visualizations. His eBPF-based performance tools are installed by default on servers at Netflix and Facebook. His DTrace-based performance tools are shipped by default in the Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Oracle Solaris 11 operating systems. He has created the DTraceToolkit, the Ftrace-based perf-tools collection, and has also contributed code, documentation, testing, leadership, and performance tools to the eBPF-based bcc and bpftrace open source projects.

His recent work has included new performance methodologies and visualizations for Linux kernel analysis, and performance tools for both Linux and FreeBSD. His methodologies include the USE method, off-CPU analysis, and the TSA method, and his visualizations include latency, utilization, and sub-second offset heat maps, and flame graphs.

Born in Australia and later working in the Asia Pacific region, he has lived in the US since 2006. (In case my bio inspires other Australians or non-US citizens to consider working in the US, then I'd recommend that you get a green card beforehand, else consider remote work instead of a more restrictive visa.)

For selected examples of my work, see my overview page.

Interviews

Talks

Upcoming talks:

Conferences I will or have spoken at. Mouse-over for names (tooltip), click for websites:

Prior conference talks include (see my homepage for slides and video):

  1. "BPF Observability" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, LSFMM, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2019
  2. "eBPF Performance Tools 2019", Brendan Gregg, Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE17x), Los Angeles 2019
  3. "Cloud Performance Root Cause Analysis at Netflix" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, YOW! Conference, Sydney & Brisbane & Melbourne, Australia 2018
  4. "Working at Netflix" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, YOW! CTO Summit, Sydney & Melbourne, Australia 2018
  5. "Linux Performance 2018", Brendan Gregg, All Things Open, Raleigh 2018
  6. "BPF Observability", Brendan Gregg, NetConf, Boston 2018
  7. "Linux Performance 2018" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, PerconaLive, Santa Clara 2018
  8. "CPU Utilization is WRONG" (lightning talk), Brendan Gregg, SCALE16x, Los Angeles 2018
  9. "How Netflix Tunes EC2 Instances for Performance", Brendan Gregg, AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas 2017
  10. "Linux Container Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, San Francisco 2017
  11. "Using Linux perf at Netflix", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Recipes, Paris 2017
  12. "Performance Analysis Superpowers with Linux BPF", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Recipes, Paris 2017
  13. "System Performance Analysis Methodologies" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, EuroBSDcon, Paris 2017
  14. "Performance Analysis Superpowers with Linux BPF", Brendan Gregg, Open Source Summit, Los Angeles 2017
  15. "Performance Superpowers with Enhanced BPF", Brendan Gregg, USENIX ATC, Santa Clara 2017
  16. "Visualizing Performance with Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, USENIX ATC, Santa Clara 2017
  17. "Performance Analysis Superpowers with Linux eBPF", Brendan Gregg, O'Reilly Velocity, San Jose 2017
  18. "Container Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, DockerCon, Austin 2017
  19. "Linux 4.x Tracing: Performance Analysis with bcc/BPF", Brendan Gregg, Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE15x), Los Angeles 2017
  20. "BPF Tools", Brendan Gregg, IO Visor Summit, Mountain View 2017
  21. "Linux Monitoring at Scale with eBPF", Alex Maestretti, Brendan Gregg, BsidesSF, San Francisco 2017
  22. "BPF: Tracing and More", Brendan Gregg, linux.conf.au, Hobart, Australia 2017
  23. "Linux 4.x Tracing Tools: Using BPF Superpowers", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, Boston 2016
  24. "Designing Tracing Tools", Brendan Gregg, Sysdig CCWFS, San Francisco 2016
  25. "Java Performance Analysis on Linux with Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, JavaOne, San Francisco 2016
  26. "System Methodology - Holistic Performance Analysis on Modern Systems" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, ACM Applicative, New York 2016
  27. "Linux Systems Performance", Brendan Gregg, PerconaLive, Santa Clara 2016
  28. "Performance Checklists for SREs" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, USENIX SREcon, Santa Clara 2016
  29. "Linux 4.x Performance: Using BPF Superpowers", Brendan Gregg, Performance@Scale, Menlo Park 2016
  30. "Broken Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE14x), Los Angeles 2016
  31. "Broken Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, QCon, San Francisco 2015
  32. "Java Mixed-Mode Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, JavaOne, San Francisco 2015
  33. "Netflix Instance Performance Analysis Requirements", Brendan Gregg, Monitorama, Portland 2015
  34. "Linux Profiling at Netflix", Brendan Gregg, Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE13x), Los Angeles 2015
  35. "Linux Performance Analysis: New Tools and Old Secrets", Large Installation System Administration (USENIX LISA), Seattle 2014
  36. "Performance Tuning EC2 Instances", Brendan Gregg, AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas 2014
  37. "FreeBSD Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, FreeBSD Developer and Vendor Summit, San Jose 2014
  38. "Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, MeetBSD California, San Jose 2014
  39. "Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, LinuxCon | CloudOpen Europe, Düsseldorf 2014
  40. "From DTrace to Linux", Brendan Gregg, Tracing Summit, Düsseldorf 2014
  41. "From Clouds to Roots", Brendan Gregg, SurgeCon, Baltimore 2014
  42. "Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, LinuxCon | CloudOpen North America, Chicago 2014
  43. "Analyzing OS X Systems Performance with the USE Method", Brendan Gregg, MacIT, San Francisco 2014
  44. "What Linux can learn from Solaris performance and vice-versa" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, SCaLE12x, Los Angeles 2014
  45. "Blazing Performance with Flame Graphs" (plenary), Brendan Gregg, Large Installation System Admin. (USENIX LISA), Washington DC, 2013
  46. "Open Source Systems Performance", Brendan Gregg, O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), Portland 2013
  47. "Stop the Guessing: Performance Methodologies for Production Systems", Brendan Gregg, Velocity, Santa Clara 2013
  48. "Linux Performance Analysis and Tools", Brendan Gregg, Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE11x), Los Angeles 2013
  49. "Performance Analysis Methodology", Brendan Gregg, Large Installation System Admin. (USENIX LISA), San Diego 2012
  50. "ZFS Performance Analysis and Tools", Brendan Gregg, zfsday, San Francisco 2012
  51. "DTracing the Cloud", Brendan Gregg, illumosday, San Francisco 2012
  52. "Real-time in the real world: DIRT in production", Bryan Cantrill, Brendan Gregg, Surge, Baltimore 2012
  53. "The USE Method", Brendan Gregg, Fórum Internacional Software Livre 13 (FISL13), Porto Alegre 2012
  54. "Visualizations", Brendan Gregg, dtrace.conf, San Francisco 2012
  55. "Performance Analysis: new tools and concepts from the cloud", Brendan Gregg, SCaLE10x, Los Angeles 2012
  56. "Design and Implementation of a Real-Time Cloud Analytics Platform", Dave Pacheco, Brendan Gregg, OSCON data, Portland 2011
  57. "Breaking Down Query Latency With DTrace", Brendan Gregg, Percona Live, New York 2011
  58. "Visualizations for Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, Large Installation System Admininistration (USENIX LISA), San Jose 2010
  59. "How To Build Better Applications With Oracle Solaris DTrace", Brendan Gregg, Jim Mauro, Oracle Open World (OOW), San Francisco 2010
  60. "DTrace Crash Course", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Conference Australia (KCA), Brisbane 2009
  61. "Kernel Engineering", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Conference Australia (KCA), Brisbane 2009

Prior tutorials/workshops:

  1. "Linux Performance Analysis Using Perf and BPF", Brendan Gregg, Sasha Goldshtein. USENIX LISA, Boston 2016
  2. "Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, O'Reilly Velocity, Santa Clara 2015
  3. "Metrics Workshop", Brendan Gregg, Narayan Desai, Kent Skaar, Theo Schlossnagle, Caskey Dickson. Large Installation System Admin (USENIX LISA), Washington DC 2013
  4. Not listed here are instructor led training classes I've developed and delivered, which ranged from 3 to 10 days in length.

Last updated: 18-Jul-2019