Systems Performance 2nd Ed.

BPF Performance Tools book

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zfsday: ZFS Performance Analysis and Tools

29 Dec 2012

I originally posted this at

At zfsday 2012, I gave a talk on ZFS performance analysis and tools, discussing the role of old and new observability tools for investigating ZFS, including many based on DTrace. This was a fun talk – probably my best so far – spanning performance analysis from the application level down through the kernel and to the storage device level.

My background with ZFS includes leading various performance work for the world's first ZFS-based storage appliance at Sun Microsystems and later Oracle, and now further analysis and tuning as Joyent's lead performance engineer where we run a public cloud on ZFS. Given the risk of other tenants (noisy neighbors) interfering with your performance, I can't imagine running a cloud on anything else. This talk includes the tools and tuning we use to make sure ZFS runs smoothly.

The video is on youtube:

The slides are available on slideshare and as a PDF:

During the talk I referenced several DTrace scripts for ZFS analysis. These are either from the File System chapter of the DTrace book, and are online at, or from the fs directory of the dtrace-cloud-tools project, online at github/brendangregg.

Thanks to Deirdré Straughan for organizing a great conference, and filming and editing my video, and to all who spoke, attended, and helped out. For more about zfsday, see Adam's summary. I'm looking forward to the next zfsday!