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Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  322 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The Complete Guide to Optimizing Systems Performance Written by the winner of the 2013 LISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in System Administration
Large-scale enterprise, cloud, and virtualized computing systems have introduced serious performance challenges. Now, internationally renowned performance expert Brendan Gregg has brought together proven methodologies, tool
Paperback, 735 pages
Published October 26th 2013 by Prentice Hall (first published September 27th 2013)
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Yevgeniy Brikman
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This isn't a book, so much as it is a reference manual or an appendix. It's nearly 800 pages of dense, low-level discussions of performance issues related to the CPU, memory, hard drive, OS, and so on. The writing is very structured, repetitive, and dry and resembles a list of facts more than prose. If you have a specific performance issue and need to know how to, say, use DTrace to diagnose an issue with a memory leak, this book is perfect. If you're looking for something you can read cover to ...more
Emre Sevinç
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whenever I watch Netflix movies from different locations, on different networks, and via different devices without any serious performance problems, I think about this book. I just can't help it. Guess why?

Brendan Gregg, also known as The Server Whisperer, among other things, wrote one of the most pragmatic and comprehensive books on Unix and Linux performance engineering. If you're in any way seriously involved with benchmarking, tuning, and analyzing GNU/Linux or Unix based systems in the last
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended!
Simon Eskildsen
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book on debugging production systems. It serves a comprehensive, but simple, mental model for how systems work, and solid methodologies to look at each component. Especially the USE-method: looking at each system component for utilization, saturation, and errors: network, disk, cpu, memory, mutexes, ... Most of the time people use the 'streetlight' method, going through random tools they know. Best illustrated in its absurdity by the parable of the drunk man who was looking for his keys in ...more
Sushant Tongaonkar
Great book for practical system performance troubleshooting.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Do not let the size daunts you however. Chapters are self-contained, as the author understands that the book might be read under pressure, and contain useful exercises at the end.

What really makes this book stands out, is not the top-notch technical writing or abundance of useful one-liners, is the fact that the author moves forward and suggests a methodology for troubleshooting and performance analysis, as opposed to the ad-hoc methods of the past (or best case scenario a checklist and $DEITY
Brandon Antone
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book for any Linux Operations guys out there to test and determine metrics for your infrastructure.
Jose Luis Prieto Priego
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought and started to read this book to prepare myself for a job interview. Really recommendable.
Ps: I finally got the job :)
Saran Sivashanmugam
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it
Brendan is probably the de-facto authority in the performance world. Brendan walks through the Linus Kernel internals and covers the performance of each areas like Memory, CPU, File Systems, Disks, Networks. His methodologies for analyzing performance problems are must read for SREs and performance engineers. The are plethora of tools that Brendan contributed in creating for Linux performance troubleshooting. I love the easy to follow and structured approach of Brendan's writing. Specifically th ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very very well written book. I didn't actually read it front to back, I read the first 4 chapters which covers the foundation, chapter 5 which covers application-level performance, and the last 3 chapters on cloud and multi-tenant performance, benchmarking, and a case study. The middle chapters dive into other specific topics like CPU, memory, file systems, etc. that I will reference on an as-needed basis.

Overall very well written, communicates concepts clearly, and reifies a lot of things that
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing book on performance measurement. Contains a lot of theory how to measure performance (starting from "what performance really is" - and it is not so obvious) to example how to drill down. This books contains a lot of practical examples on performance issues investigation. Looks slightly outdated (tap, solaris, DTrace) but it is really worth reading for admins and every person who cares about performance. ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Though at risk of being a tad ranty about how Solaris is better than linux, Brendan Gregg's detail and understanding of Kernel development and performance is comprehensive and both introduces the topic and then guides the reader through how to measure it. It's a must-read for Linux developers. ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
The book addresses two different questions:
1. How to analyze systems performance? (Methodology)
2. How to use tools to achieve these goals? (Tools)

The first question is thoroughly answered in the book. However, the second question is pretty outdated for Linux.
Ernestas Poskus
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Grail of performance issues/improvements.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brings down performance analysis to actual commands and methodologies you can directly use. Quite nice read.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018_read
Good to skim through to learn about what is possible and out there, but it's more like a reference book to check when needed with a specific performance problem. ...more
Dmytro Sirenko
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An in-depth look at modern Linux introspection, functioning, tools and metrics.

The USE method is very helpful for an SRE.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
When investigating a CPU issue, I found that I had to dive much deeper than the details provided by this book. It's a good starting point though. Brendan Gregg is a legend. ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
It is abstract and not useful for modern performance issues
Janis Orlovs
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Bible of following topic
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my most favourite everything-reference when I need to do system benchmark/trouble-shooting. This book covers almost all aspects of low-level stuff from kernel to network-protocol, or file system, disk system. Highly recommended.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: it
This book is nightmarishly good. I figured it would take months to slog through it, but was able to in 4 months. I was a bit nutty, since I took handwritten notes.

Book I wanted to have when I first started my career. All the stuff in OS classes and things gleaned from experience wrapped up in one, with exercises at chapter's end to test your knowledge, well-written text, graphics that accurately capture and describe topics and a mild amount of human humour injected where appropriate.

This is a H
Franck Chauvel
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book details how to approach software performance issues. It explains how to observe, measure and visualise what is happening in the OS and beyond (only on the Linux and Solaris platforms). I don't think the book reads very well from cover to cover, but I did devour the first chapters that explain the concepts and methodologies, as well as the final the case study. To my opinion, the rest seems more of a reference to consult when faced with a particular performance issue as they covers CPU, ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very good introduction into systems performance. This book touches system's performance
all the way from bottom(hardware) to up(to the application level). The systematic approach
taken in each chapter will teach principles and methods of system performance along with the tools like DTrace. It shows how to use tools on the real world cases giving a solid introduction on the "why" part of performance issue.

I hope the future edition will include more modern tools for Linux like eBPF. Otherwise, it'
Gary Boland
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book. Gregg takes a microscope to the operating system and shows what goes on under the hood. One of the best computer science books I have ever read.

Note: get the dead tree book or the pdf. Epub formatting is dreadful.
Anuj Bahuguna
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computer-science
My favorite book ever. I haven't read a book better than this on the topic of system performance. Brendan is definitely one of the foremost Engineers in the world. This should be a mandatory reading for everyone willing to become a performance engineer. Can't recommend this book highly enough. ...more
Jaedon Kim
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Good introductory book for computer architecture from HW/SW perspective.
Good reference book for performance monitoring.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent all-round intro how to look into performance issues
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of must-read books for systems people.
Covers methodologies ask and tools for performance analysis as well as explains systems internals.
André Santos
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book, provides a wide view of systems performance. Must read for anyone interested in the subject.
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