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 and BPF Performance Tools (Addison-Wesley), 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 Sytems Performance and BPF Performance Tools (Addison-Wesley), and received the USENIX LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration. He has also been a kernel engineer, performance lead, and professional technical trainer, 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 has worked as a senior performance architect at Netflix since 2014, 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 "Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud, 2nd Edition" (Addison-Wesley, 2020; and 1st Edition as Prentice Hall, 2013), "BPF Performance Tools: Linux System and Application Observability" (Addison-Wesley, 2019), 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 also previously worked as a performance consultant and a professional technical trainer (instructor), teaching classes worldwide that were typically five days in length. He has also authored and delivered his own own technical 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. 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, Brendan first worked in the Asia Pacific region, then spent many years working in Silicon Valley, California. He returned to Australia in 2020, and is now based in Sydney, Australia. (In case my bio inspires other Australians or non-US citizens to consider working in the US, then I'd strongly 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. "Performance Wins with BPF: Getting Started", Brendan Gregg, Facebook @Scale, online 2021
  2. "Computer Performance: On the Horizon" (plenary), Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, online 2021
  3. "BPF Internals", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, online 2021
  4. "Performance Wins with BPF: Getting Started" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, eBPF Summit, online 2020
  5. "Linux Systems Performance" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, YOW! Auckland, Perth, Singapore, Hong Kong, online 2020
  6. "Brendan/Netflix Updates", Brendan Gregg, LSFMMBPF, online 2020
  7. "BPF Performance Analysis at Netflix", Brendan Gregg, AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas 2019
  8. "Linux Systems Performance", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, Portland 2019
  9. "Extended BPF: A New Type of Software" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, UbuntuMasters, Santa Clara 2019
  10. "BPF Observability" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, LSFMM, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2019
  11. "eBPF Performance Tools 2019", Brendan Gregg, SCaLE17x, Los Angeles 2019
  12. "Cloud Performance Root Cause Analysis at Netflix" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, YOW! Conference, Sydney & Brisbane & Melbourne, Australia 2018
  13. "Working at Netflix" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, YOW! CTO Summit, Sydney & Melbourne, Australia 2018
  14. "Linux Performance 2018", Brendan Gregg, All Things Open, Raleigh 2018
  15. "BPF Observability", Brendan Gregg, NetConf, Boston 2018
  16. "Linux Performance 2018" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, PerconaLive, Santa Clara 2018
  17. "CPU Utilization is WRONG" (lightning talk), Brendan Gregg, SCALE16x, Los Angeles 2018
  18. "How Netflix Tunes EC2 Instances for Performance", Brendan Gregg, AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas 2017
  19. "Linux Container Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, San Francisco 2017
  20. "Using Linux perf at Netflix", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Recipes, Paris 2017
  21. "Performance Analysis Superpowers with Linux BPF", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Recipes, Paris 2017
  22. "System Performance Analysis Methodologies" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, EuroBSDcon, Paris 2017
  23. "Performance Analysis Superpowers with Linux BPF", Brendan Gregg, Open Source Summit, Los Angeles 2017
  24. "Performance Superpowers with Enhanced BPF", Brendan Gregg, USENIX ATC, Santa Clara 2017
  25. "Visualizing Performance with Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, USENIX ATC, Santa Clara 2017
  26. "Performance Analysis Superpowers with Linux eBPF", Brendan Gregg, O'Reilly Velocity, San Jose 2017
  27. "Container Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, DockerCon, Austin 2017
  28. "Linux 4.x Tracing: Performance Analysis with bcc/BPF", Brendan Gregg, SCALE15x, Los Angeles 2017
  29. "BPF Tools", Brendan Gregg, IO Visor Summit, Mountain View 2017
  30. "Linux Monitoring at Scale with eBPF", Alex Maestretti, Brendan Gregg, BsidesSF, San Francisco 2017
  31. "BPF: Tracing and More", Brendan Gregg, linux.conf.au, Hobart, Australia 2017
  32. "Linux 4.x Tracing Tools: Using BPF Superpowers", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, Boston 2016
  33. "Designing Tracing Tools", Brendan Gregg, Sysdig CCWFS, San Francisco 2016
  34. "Java Performance Analysis on Linux with Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, JavaOne, San Francisco 2016
  35. "System Methodology - Holistic Performance Analysis on Modern Systems" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, ACM Applicative, New York 2016
  36. "Linux Systems Performance", Brendan Gregg, PerconaLive, Santa Clara 2016
  37. "Performance Checklists for SREs" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, USENIX SREcon, Santa Clara 2016
  38. "Linux 4.x Performance: Using BPF Superpowers", Brendan Gregg, Performance@Scale, Menlo Park 2016
  39. "Broken Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, SCALE14x, Los Angeles 2016
  40. "Broken Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, QCon, San Francisco 2015
  41. "Java Mixed-Mode Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, JavaOne, San Francisco 2015
  42. "Netflix Instance Performance Analysis Requirements", Brendan Gregg, Monitorama, Portland 2015
  43. "Linux Profiling at Netflix", Brendan Gregg, SCALE13x, Los Angeles 2015
  44. "Linux Performance Analysis: New Tools and Old Secrets", USENIX LISA, Seattle 2014
  45. "Performance Tuning EC2 Instances", Brendan Gregg, AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas 2014
  46. "FreeBSD Flame Graphs", Brendan Gregg, FreeBSD Developer and Vendor Summit, San Jose 2014
  47. "Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, MeetBSD California, San Jose 2014
  48. "Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, LinuxCon | CloudOpen Europe, Düsseldorf 2014
  49. "From DTrace to Linux", Brendan Gregg, Tracing Summit, Düsseldorf 2014
  50. "From Clouds to Roots", Brendan Gregg, SurgeCon, Baltimore 2014
  51. "Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, LinuxCon | CloudOpen North America, Chicago 2014
  52. "Analyzing OS X Systems Performance with the USE Method", Brendan Gregg, MacIT, San Francisco 2014
  53. "What Linux can learn from Solaris performance and vice-versa" (keynote), Brendan Gregg, SCaLE12x, Los Angeles 2014
  54. "Blazing Performance with Flame Graphs" (plenary), Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, Washington DC, 2013
  55. "Open Source Systems Performance", Brendan Gregg, O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), Portland 2013
  56. "Stop the Guessing: Performance Methodologies for Production Systems", Brendan Gregg, Velocity, Santa Clara 2013
  57. "Linux Performance Analysis and Tools", Brendan Gregg, SCaLE11x, Los Angeles 2013
  58. "Performance Analysis Methodology", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, San Diego 2012
  59. "ZFS Performance Analysis and Tools", Brendan Gregg, zfsday, San Francisco 2012
  60. "DTracing the Cloud", Brendan Gregg, illumosday, San Francisco 2012
  61. "The USE Method", Brendan Gregg, Fórum Internacional Software Livre 13 (FISL13), Porto Alegre 2012
  62. "Visualizations", Brendan Gregg, dtrace.conf, San Francisco 2012
  63. "Performance Analysis: new tools and concepts from the cloud", Brendan Gregg, Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE10x), Los Angeles 2012
  64. "Breaking Down Query Latency With DTrace", Brendan Gregg, Percona Live, New York 2011
  65. "Visualizations for Performance Analysis", Brendan Gregg, Large Installation System Admininistration (USENIX LISA), San Jose 2010
  66. "How To Build Better Applications With Oracle Solaris DTrace", Brendan Gregg, Jim Mauro, Oracle Open World (OOW), San Francisco 2010
  67. "DTrace Crash Course", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Conference Australia (KCA), Brisbane 2009
  68. "Kernel Engineering", Brendan Gregg, Kernel Conference Australia (KCA), Brisbane 2009

Prior tutorials/workshops:

  1. "BPF Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, USENIX LISA, Portland 2019
  2. "Linux Performance Analysis Using Perf and BPF", Brendan Gregg, Sasha Goldshtein, USENIX LISA, Boston 2016
  3. "Linux Performance Tools", Brendan Gregg, O'Reilly Velocity, Santa Clara 2015
  4. "Metrics Workshop", Brendan Gregg, Narayan Desai, Kent Skaar, Theo Schlossnagle, Caskey Dickson, USENIX LISA, Washington DC 2013
  5. Not listed here are instructor led professional training classes I've developed and delivered, which ranged from 3 to 10 days in length.

Last updated: 05-May-2021