Welcome to BM Seer and Solaris Performance Methodology

Good morning all;

As it is lightly snowing this morning in St Charles (outside of Chicago),
let me give a warm welcome to a new blogger : BM Seer .
You will find there all the latest news on Sun benchmark results.

Now, I will start today a new serie on my performance analysis methodology.
I called this methodology the ASTROLABE. ( If you do not know what an
astrolabe is, check out this web site)
The intent of this approach is to be SIMPLE and POWERFUL.
This methodology has seven sections and I will expose today the first one .

The ASTROLABE performance analysis methodology.

Section one : Control what's running

You may be surprised but most of the customers I am seeing in the benchmark center
do not really control what's running in the environments.

Top three questions to answer :
1- What are the applications running in this environment
and their main characteristics ?
2- What are the main data streams and what transport mechanism
are used (tcp, udp ...) ?
3- Most importantly, what is running that we do not know about ?
A way to detect this is to run this simple DTrace audit script :
(Note that this script is Solaris 10 zone aware... )

-----
dtrace -n 'proc:::exec{printf("%s execing %s, , uid/zone = %d/%s\\n",execname,args[0],uid,zonename)}'
-----

The main issue that this script will uncover is Runaway shell scripts.
They may use a very valuable chunk of your system resources.
Also, short-lived applications can be uncovered this way
A hint : if the total of the cpu reported by prstat is inferior
to the total cpu usage reported by vmstat, you should worry about this two issues.

In more than 80% of the customer workload we analyzed, performance benefits are
achieved by tuning the software stack and the customer applications
in particular, not by tuning Solaris.

See you soon in the wonderful world of benchmarking....

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