January 18, 2018
The Hurricane's Butterfly: Debugging Pathologically Performing Systems
Despite significant advances in tooling over the past two decades, performance debugging—finding and rectifying those limiters to systems performance—remains a singular challenge in our production systems. This challenge persists in part because of a butterfly effect in complicated systems: small but ill-behaving components can have an outsized effect on the performance of a system in aggregate.
This talk will explore this challenge, including why simple problems can cause non-linear performance effects, how they can remain so elusive and what we can do to better debug them.
Bryan Cantrill is CTO at Joyent, where since 2010 he has had responsibility for Joyent's SmartOS, Triton and Manta technologies. Previously a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, Bryan led the team that designed and implemented DTrace, a facility for dynamic instrumentation of production systems that won the Wall Street Journal’s top Technology Innovation Award in 2006. He received the ScB magna cum laude with honors in Computer Science from Brown University.