Systems Performance 2nd Ed.

BPF Performance Tools book

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FROSUG perf horrors

11 Nov 2009

I originally posted this at

A couple of days before Halloween I gave a talk titled "Little Shop of Performance Horrors" at the Front Range OpenSolaris User Group (FROSUG), in Denver, Colorado. The title was suggested to me, which inspired me to talk about things going wrong in the field of system performance. We had a great turnout, despite the talk happening during one of the worst snow storms of the year.

For the talk, I listed different performance problems and gave an example or two of each, including many lessons that were learned the hard way.

Horrific Topics:

  • The worst perf issues I've ever seen!
  • Common misconfigurations
  • The encyclopedia of poor assumptions
  • Unbelievably bad perf analysis
  • Death by complexity
  • Bad benchmarking
  • Misleading analysis tools
  • Insane performance tuning
  • The curse of the unexpected

The slides are here. I'll revisit the slides when I have a chance and add more content; as this was the first time I give this talk, several more topics sprung to mind during the actual talk which there aren't slides for.

Despite speaking for about 2.5 hours, the entire talk was videoed and has already been posted on Sun Video, which I've included below.

Part 1/3 (youtube)

Part 2/3 (youtube)

Part 3/3 (youtube)

Thanks to those who attended, and Deirdré Straughan for videoing the talk.