Talk by Brendan Gregg for OSSNA 2017. "Advanced performance observability and debugging have arrived built into the Linux 4.x series, thanks to enhancements to Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF, or eBPF) and the repurposing of its sandboxed virtual machine to provide programmatic capabilities to system tracing. Netflix has been investigating its use for new observability tools, monitoring, security uses, and more. This talk will be a dive deep on these new tracing, observability, and debugging capabilities, which sooner or later will be available to everyone who uses Linux. Whether you’re doing analysis over an ssh session, or via a monitoring GUI, BPF can be used to provide an efficient, custom, and deep level of detail into system and application performance.
This talk will also demonstrate the new open source tools that have been developed, which make use of kernel- and user-level dynamic tracing (kprobes and uprobes), and kernel- and user-level static tracing (tracepoints). These tools provide new insights for file system and storage performance, CPU scheduler performance, TCP performance, and a whole lot more. This is a major turning point for Linux systems engineering, as custom advanced performance instrumentation can be used safely in production environments, powering a new generation of tools and visualizations."