Visited Sun’s undisclosed – not on the building directory – DTrace/Fishworks think tank a couple of months ago. Adam Leventhal, one of the DTrace developers, graciously showed me around the lab and demo’d Fishworks.

For latecomers, Adam once defined DTrace as

. . . a systemic observability framework that’s designed explicitly for use on mission-critical systems. It lets users and system administrators get concise answers to arbitrary questions.

DTrace is available on Solaris, OpenSolaris and Mac OS X.

Update: If you go to YouTube you can now see the video in their much clearer and larger HD version. Click on the HD button below the viewer on the right side. End update.

Sun’s SSD initiative
Adam also talked about the cool work Sun is doing with SSDs. They’ve done some rethinking on SSD applications. One is Logzilla, a small SSD configured as a ring buffer for – surprise! – write logging. No need for wear leveling as the writes start at one end of the address space and proceed sequentially to the other end, where the process begins again.

Adam has more about Sun’s “hybrid storage pools” on his blog.

The StorageMojo take
Real time analytics on mission-critical systems is a winner. Other management systems offer drill down but I don’t think I’ve seen one this flexible – but I haven’t seen all of them. Readers feel free to chime in on what you like and/or don’t about the demo.

Be gentle – this is less than 4 minutes of a 30 minute tour – not everything is revealed. Competitors: please keep the chest-beating down to a few salient points.

DTrace and Fishworks are a powerful combo. One more reason – along with ZFS – that OpenSolaris is a better platform than Linux for feature-rich storage.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. No money changed hands – not even lunch. I just like what the team is doing.