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 Systems Performance published by Prentice Hall, and received the USENIX LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration. Brendan has created performance analysis tools included in multiple operating systems, and 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 Systems Performance published by Prentice Hall, and received the USENIX LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration. He was previously a kernel engineer and perforance lead, where he developed the ZFS L2ARC and led many performance investigations. Brendan has created performance analysis 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, enhanced BPF, PMCs, ZFS, and DTrace. He has developed, debugged, and tuned software in rings 0, 1, and 3.

Brendan also assists production triage for performance and availability issues, and has been the primary on-call engineer (on the CORE SRE team rotation) to lead the worldwide response for Netflix outages.

He is the author of the book "Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud" (Prentice Hall, 2013), 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), and well as 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.

He was previously the lead performance engineer at Joyent, a San Francisco-based high performance cloud computing provider. There he analyzed performance and scalability for small- to large-sized cloud computing environments, at any level of the software stack, including hypervisor internals, down to metal. He also developed and taught classes in cloud performance and DTrace.

Prior to that Brendan was a performance lead and kernel engineer at Sun Microsystems and later Oracle via the acquisition, and led the performance efforts for the world's first ZFS-based storage appliance, helping make it the fastest product of its class. This work included performance analysis and tuning while working with Sun's performance and availability engineering group, as well as other teams in Solaris kernel engineering. This work improved the performance of the product and the Solaris kernel, specifically in areas including networking, storage, and observability.

Brendan has also previously worked as a performance consultant and instructor, and has taught classes worldwide including authoring and delivering his own workshops. Over 2,000 people in the industry have been taught by Brendan.

Brendan has invented and developed numerous advanced performance analysis tools, methodologies, and visualizations. Many of his tools, especially DTrace scripts, are shipped by default in Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Oracle Solaris 11, and are used by other performance analysis products. He created and developed the DTraceToolkit, a collection of advanced performance analysis tools. He also created the perf-tools collection of advanced ftrace-based performance analysis tools for Linux, and contributed many similar tools to the eBPF-based bcc open source project. Apart from observability tools, he developed the ZFS L2ARC – a pioneering file system performance technology which uses flash memory as a second level cache, after main memory.

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