Friday, February 03, 2006

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight:
To hunt cow in its native habitat, the focus of observability infrastructure must make two profound shifts: from development to production, and from programs to systems. These shifts have several important implications. First, the shift from development to production implies that observability infrastructure must have zero disabled probe effect: The mere ability to observe the system must not make the delivered system any slower. This constraint allows only one real solution: Software must be optimized when it ships, and—when one wishes to observe it—the software must be dynamically modified. Further, the shift from programs to systems demands that the entire stack must be able to be dynamically instrumented in this way, from the depths of the operating system, through the system libraries, and into the vaulted heights of higher-level languages and environments. There must be no dependency on compile-time options, having source code, restarting components, etc.; it must be assumed that the first time a body of software is to be observed, that software is already running in production.

... and DTrace was born.

No comments: