DTrace update

Since I've been away, there's been quite a bit of exciting DTrace activity.

First, there's the DTrace Challenge, where we will award prizes for both the most creative D script, and for the best use of DTrace to get a big performance win. When this idea was first floated internally, I assumed that the prizes would, well, kinda suck. Maybe a T-shirt or a mug or some Solaris DVDs or whatever. Much to my surprise, we've ponied up some real dough to give away some seriously cool prizes, including a 32" flat-panel plasma HDTV, a Ferrari-branded ACER Opteron laptop (running the 64-bit Solaris kernel, natch!), and an Apple iPod. We're giving away these prizes for each of the two challenges (plus two more for use of Zones), so there are twelve prizes in all. Needless to say, I've never been so bummed to see the "employees and their families are inelgible" rider -- even at his young age, I'm sure Tobin could have developed a winning D script for his Da-da!

In other DTrace news, the first DTrace course is now available for registration. Many of you have asked about formal training; here's your opportunity to sign up. And I'm pleased to report that fellow Solaris kernel developer Jonathan Adams now has joined the Sun blogasm. Jonathan was incredibly helpful to us on DTrace, culminating in his volunteering (or perhaps acquiescing?) to do the DTrace code review. (I can say with confidence that there are bodies of in-kernel DTrace code that are understood by only two people -- Jonathan and me.)

Finally, DTrace and Solaris 10 have been in the press quite a bit. We were especially excited to see DTrace -- along with other Solaris 10 technologies -- mentioned in John Markoff's story in the New York Times (free registration required). The money quote:

More than any other factor, though, it will be the success or failure of Solaris 10 - the new operating system being shown to Wall Street this week - that could determine whether Sun can return to anything resembling its former glory. Analysts and first customers of the new software say it represents a generational shift for Sun, offering a variety of technology features not available under Linux or Windows.
Markoff nailed it: Solaris 10 is indeed a "generational shift" -- and it's one that we on Team DTrace are very much proud to be a part of...
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