Saturday Dec 04, 2004

Boot time performance

Dan circulated the following internally, but I thought it was cool enough to share with everyone out there. It seems there's a very slick project to chart boot time performance across a variety of GNU/Linux systems. This makes it much easier to spot performance bottlenecks and improve boot time performance.

It would be really interesting to see this on a Solaris system for two reasons. First, we have the Service Management Facility which significantly parallelizes boot. Having a chart like this would let us see just how well it accomplishes this task. Second, DTrace provides a far superior mechanism for gathering data. The current project uses a combination of top and iostat sampling to gather data. With DTrace, we can get much more accurate data, and do cool stuff like associate I/O with individual processes, track interrupt activity, or gather performance data well before init(1M) begins executing. Our performance team has had a variation on this for a while now, using DTrace to track "events of interest" in order to analyze boot time regressions, but it's presentation is nowhere near that of this tool.

Some of us have downloaded the software and are beginning to poke around with some D scripts. Stay tuned...

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Musings about Fishworks, Operating Systems, and the software that runs on them.

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