This talk will give a brief background on node.js and DTrace, discuss how they intersected for Node Knockout, what was learned about the strengths and limitations of each technology, and how our experiences informed the development of a distributed facility for DTrace-based instrumentation in the cloud. We will also explain how our thinking around systems instrumentation was shaped by the contestants of the contest themselves—and in particular, their propensity for developing novel real-time web applications. We will describe the latency-oriented instrumentation and visualization facilities that have stemmed from this thinking, and present data that we have gathered and visualized on production loads—data that shows heretofore unseen nuance in system performance. Finally, we will close with the open challenges that remain for meaningfully instrumenting, understanding and optimizing the emerging real-time web.
Bryan Cantrill is VP of Engineering at Joyent. Previously a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, Bryan has spent over a decade working on system software, from the guts of the kernel to client-code on the browser and much in between. 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 and the USENIX Software Tools User Group Award in 2008. Bryan co-founded the Fishworks group at Sun, where he designed and implemented the DTrace-based analytics facility found in the Sun Storage 7000 series of appliances — a facility that InfoWorld described as “stunning” in a February 2009 review. In 2005, Bryan was named by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the top thirty-five technologists under the age of thirty-five, and by InfoWorld as one of their Innovators of the Year. Bryan received the ScB magna cum laude with honors in Computer Science from Brown University.
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