Monday, March 30, 2009


Problem: Dynamic instrumentation of production systems to understand performance problems.

Solution: D-Trace provides on the order of 30,000 instrumentation points in the kernel alone. D-Trace provides an API to instrument both kernel and user level behavior, letting the same tracing program access both. The C-like control language for tracing scripts is a good contribution. D-Trace also provides easy access into kernel variables while keeping tracing code "safe".

DTrace’s primary difference from previous work is that it combines pieces of previous work into a single framework.

Future Influence: I would hope that other system builders develop their own tracing frameworks that contain key contributions from DTrace. This would be especially useful in large scale Linux deployments.

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