Build & maintain complex distributed systems
October 1–2, 2017: Training
October 2–4, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Fast and safe production monitoring of JVM applications with BPF magic

Sasha Goldshtein (Sela Group)
4:45pm5:25pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Who is this presentation for?

  • Software engineers, SREs, and those in ops

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A working knowledge of Java development

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to monitor system calls, garbage collection, and other interesting events in JVM processes; profile CPU utilization, disk access, and network events using low-overhead BPF technology; and diagnose seemingly impossible issues in production environments


All of us have seen evasive performance issues or production bugs in the field that standard monitoring tools don’t see or catch. The JVM itself has a myriad of insertion points for tracing garbage collection, object allocations, JNI calls, and even method calls with extended probes, but when the JVM tracepoints don’t cut it, the Linux kernel and libraries allow tracing system calls, network packets, scheduler events, off-CPU time, time blocked on disk access, and even database queries.

BPF is a Linux kernel technology that enables fast and safe dynamic tracing of a running system without any preparation or instrumentation in advance. Sasha Goldshtein explores a holistic set of BPF-based tools for monitoring JVM applications on Linux and outlines a systems performance checklist that includes classics like fileslower, opensnoop, and strace—all based on the noninvasive, fast, and safe BPF technology.

Photo of Sasha Goldshtein

Sasha Goldshtein

Sela Group

Sasha Goldshtein is the CTO of Sela Group, a Microsoft C# MVP and Azure MRS, a Pluralsight author, and an international consultant and trainer. Sasha’s consulting work revolves mainly around distributed architecture, production debugging, and mobile application development. Sasha is the author of Introducing Windows 7 for Developers (Microsoft Press) and Pro .NET Performance (Apress). He is also a prolific blogger and the author of numerous training courses, including .NET Debugging, .NET Performance, Android Application Development, and Modern C++.