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USENIX '99 Annual Technical Conference
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Tuesday, June 8, 1999
Full Day Tutorial Session (9:00 am - 5:00 pm):
T1   Solaris Architecture: Internals, Tools, Tips and Tidbits (NEW)
Richard McDougall and James Mauro, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Who should attend: Systems administrators, capacity planners, performance analysts and application developers who use Solaris. Solaris users who wish to know more about the system they're using and the information they can get from bundled tools. Anyone interested in operating system internals.

The installed base of Solaris systems being used for various commercial data processing applications across all market segments and scientific computing applications has grown dramatically over the last several years (and continues to grow). As an operating system, Solaris has evolved considerably along the way, with some significant changes made to the UNIX SVR4 source base on which the early system was built. An understanding of how the system works is required in order to design and develop applications that take maximum advantage of the various features of the operating system, understand the data made available via bundled system utilities, and optimally configure and tune a Solaris system for a particular application or load.

This course covers the major components of the Solaris operating system, including:

-   Process/thread/dispatcher subsystem, virtual memory, filesystems and I/O interfaces
-   Kernel data structures and algorithms discussed for all the major subsystems, with descriptions of the data extraction points used by the bundled tools (e.g. sar, vmstat, mpstat, etc.)
-   Several unbundled tools and utilities (e.g. ProcTool, MemTool)
-   Implementation of the kernel locking primitives (e.g. mutexes, condition variables)
-   System clocks (hardware and software)
-   64-bit kernel, linkers and libraries
-   System calls, interprocess communication
-   Kernel tuneable parameters

After attending this seminar, participants will have a solid understanding of the internals of the major areas of the Solaris kernel that they will be able to apply to systems performance analysis, tuning, load/behaviour analysis and application development.  

Richard McDougall (T1 Instructor)   is an established engineer in the Enterprise Engineering group at Sun Microsystems where he focuses on large systems performance and architecture. He has over twelve years of performance tuning, application/kernel development and capacity planning experience on many different flavours of UNIX. Richard has authored a wide range of papers and tools for measurement, monitoring, tracing and sizing of UNIX systems including the memory sizing methodology for Sun, the set of tools known as "MemTool" to allow finegrained instrumentation of memory for Solaris, the recent "Priority Paging" memory algorithms in Solaris and many of the unbundled tools for Solaris. Richard is currently coauthoring the Sun Microsystems book, Solaris Architecture, book which details Solaris architecture, implementation, tools and techniques.


James Mauro (T1 Instructor)   is a Area Technologist in the Northeast United States for Sun Microsystems, Inc., focusing on high-end parallel systems, clusters and high availability configurations running Solaris. Jim works extensively with Solaris, supporting application development, performance tuning, capacity planning and general systems behaviour analysis. Jim has 20 years industry experience working with UNIX systems of various flavors and in different roles. Jim currently authors a monthly column on Solaris internals called "Inside Solaris", published in SunWorld magazine. James is currently coauthoring the Sun Microsystems book, Solaris Architecture, which details Solaris architecture, implementation, tools and techniques.

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