Archive for the ‘Solaris’ Category

Good-bye, Sun

In Februrary 1996, I came out to Sun Microsystems to interview for a job knowing only two things: that I wanted to do operating systems kernel development — and that I didn’t particularly want to work for Sun. I was right on the first count, but knew I was wrong on the second just moments [...]

Posted on July 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm by bmc · Permalink · 46 Comments
In: Fishworks, Solaris

Concurrency’s Shysters

For as long as I’ve been in computing, the subject of concurrency has always induced a kind of thinking man’s hysteria. When I was coming up, the name of the apocalypse was symmetric multiprocessing — and its arrival was to be the Day of Reckoning for software. There seemed to be no end of doomsayers, [...]

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm by bmc · Permalink · 10 Comments
In: Solaris

Happy 5th Birthday, DTrace!

It’s hard to believe, but DTrace is five years old today: it was on September 3, 2003 that DTrace integrated into Solaris. DTrace was a project that extended all three of us to our absolute limit as software engineers — and the 24 hours before integration was then (and remains now) the most harrowing of [...]

Posted on September 3, 2008 at 10:57 am by bmc · Permalink · 17 Comments
In: Solaris

DTrace and the Palisades Interstate Parkway

In general, I don’t believe in drawing attention to bugs in the software of others: any significant body of software is likely to have bugs, and I think one can too easily draw overly broad inferences by looking at software through the lens of its defects (a pathology that I have previously discussed at some [...]

Posted on July 29, 2008 at 11:17 pm by bmc · Permalink · 4 Comments
In: Solaris

Revisiting the Intel 432

As I have discussed before, I strongly believe that to understand systems, you must understand their pathologies — systems are most instructive when they fail. Unfortunately, we in computing systems do not have a strong history of studying pathology: despite the fact that failure in our domain can be every bit as expensive (if not [...]

Posted on July 18, 2008 at 2:11 pm by bmc · Permalink · 5 Comments
In: Solaris

DTrace on Linux

The interest in DTrace on Linux is heating up again — this time in an inferno on the Linux 2008 Kernel Summit discussion list. Under discussion is SystemTap, the Linux-born DTrace-knockoff, with people like Ted Ts’o explaining why they find SystemTap generally unusable (“Do you really expect system administrators to use this tool?”) and in [...]

Posted on June 30, 2008 at 11:35 pm by bmc · Permalink · 25 Comments
In: Solaris

A Tribute to Jim Gray

Like several hundred others, I spent today at Berkeley at a tribute to honor Jim Gray. While many there today had collaborated with Jim in some capacity, my own connection to him is tertiary at best: I currently serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of ACM Queue, a capacity in which Jim also served up [...]

Posted on May 31, 2008 at 11:58 pm by bmc · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Solaris


dtrace.conf(08) was this past Friday, and (no surprise, given the attendees), it ended up being an incredible (un)conference. DTrace is able to cut across vertical boundaries in the software stack (taking you from say, PHP through to the kernel), and it is not surprising that this was also reflected in our conference, which ran from [...]

Posted on March 16, 2008 at 9:45 pm by bmc · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: Solaris

Announcing dtrace.conf

We on Team DTrace have realized that with so much going on in the world of DTrace — ports to new systems, providers for new languages and development of new DTrace-based tools — the time is long overdue for a DTrace summit of sorts. So I’m very pleased to announce our first-ever DTrace (un)conference: dtrace.conf(08), [...]

Posted on December 18, 2007 at 10:39 am by bmc · Permalink · 4 Comments
In: Solaris

Boom/bust cycles

Growing up, I was sensitive to the boom/bust cycles endemic in particular industries: my grandfather was a petroleum engineer, and he saw the largest project of his career cancelled during the oil bust in the mid-1980s.[1] And growing up in Colorado, I saw not only the destruction wrought by the oil bust (1987 was very [...]

Posted on December 5, 2007 at 7:44 am by bmc · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: Solaris