Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fishworks @ Joyent

Today morning was an interesting detour from my recent routine of sleeping in late. I stayed up most of the night to catch Joyent's Cloud Analytics talk titled Solving Big Problems with Real-time Visibility into Cloud Performance. Of course, I was interrupted by The Real News' panel discussion on WikiLeaks after which I couldn't watch either stream to its conclusion, but it was a fun morning! :)

Back to Joyent- now that almost the entire DTrace team from Sun's Fishworks group has moved to Joyent, it was inevitable that they would retarget the real-time analysis technology they were building for Sun's storage line to Joyent's cloud offerings.

While the talk went on to describe the various statistics provided and how we could utilize them, most of the first half was a bunch of fun anecdotes from the Fishworks effort. It was nice to have Bryan himself tell us about the origins and need for DTrace and (more importantly) the serendipity that lead to Brendan's famous Shouting in the Data Center video!

Bryan Cantrill and Brenden Gregg have been busy modifying the Fishworks DTrace consumers to monitor SmartNodes and SmartMachines instead of disks in JBODs. It seems Joyent will soon be making these monitoring services available to all cloud users to allow fine-grained analysis of their production deployments in real-time.

The statistics seem to be presented primarily as a heat map of no. of ops at a given latency over time. The tool also provided for drilling down into specific programs/calls to refine the trends. The two of them also pointed out a number of commonly found patterns in such analysis and how they interpret them. It was a lot of fun to see these two ex-Sun h@k0rs bounce off each other as they presented their latest offering.

Here's wishing Joyent luck on their new venture and many more!