Solaris Internals and Solaris Performance Tools Shippped!

26 Jul '06 - 13:49 by benr

Finally finally, the second edition of Solaris Internals has shipped. Last night at the Silicon Valley OpenSolaris Users Group we had a presentation on Xen by Sun Fellow Tim Marsland which ruled. And as a very very special treat prior to the meeting Richard McDougall and Jim Mauro, Sun performance gods, talked about the new book and the long journey to writting it.

Interesting tidbit... the girl with her hand in the Niagara is Richard's daughter!

I picked up my copy en route to the office last night at Digital Guru on the way to the meeting. The book is awesome. Everyone at the meeting wanted to flip through my copy. Dan Price had fun pointing out all the diagrams that he recognized from other sources.

While Solaris Internals is a powerhouse in its own right, I admit being even more excited about this...

As we learned last night, the page count on Solaris Internals skyrocketed with Solaris 10 (the final page count is just over 1,000 pages) and consiquently a second book was born. This second book, co-authored by our good friend Brendan Gregg, focuses on the practical side by introducing MDB and Dtrace and is broken down by subsystems such as CPU, memory, processes, disk behavior, file systems, networks, so on and so forth. For all of us who read Solaris Internals and wished we knew how to use all those tools like Richard and Jim do, this is our book! Brendan is known world wide as the man who makes DTrace sing and that really shines in this book, and for those of us who have always been a little intimidated by mdb, this book really fills the need.

I was honored last night to get my copy of Solaris Internals signed by both Richard and Jim. But I was even more elated when waiting to have my book signed by Richard he stopped and said "Are you Ben? This is the Ben, where are those books?" I didn't really figure out why I'm worthy of such recognition but d00d... so. fscking. kool. I passed on the copy of Internals because I already had bought my copy but gladly accepted Tools which I've been enjoying this morning.

There are a lot of OS's out there, but one thing that I think is interesting about Solaris from a cultural standpoint is that we have a number of hero's amoung us that we turn to and probly in some dire instances pray to. Names like Bob Larson, Adrian Cockroft, Richard McDougall, Jim Mauro, Brian Cantrill, and now Brendan Gregg. No other OS really immortalizes its hero's quite like we do in the Solaris world, particularly around performance, and I'm really proud of that.

Buy the books on Amazon. Solaris Internals is $80 and Solaris Performance and Tools is $50, but they are worth every penny! Also, if you don't already have a copy, Solaris Systems Programming by Rich Teer is an excellent compliment.

So now that you've ordered your books... you did order them right? Now that they are on the way, check out The Solaris Internals Performance Wiki! Thats right, a wiki that compliments Solaris Internals where all of us can share performance information together. This is the place to go for specific questions and solutions that just can't fit in a book. Want to share your Oracle or DB2 performance tips and tricks? Want to address specific cases of IO behaviour? This is the place to go and will no doubt become an indispensable resource for all of us for years and years to come. Its still new, so its filling out, but take part in helping it grow.

- - C O M M E N T S - -


Hero - 26 July '06 - 17:04

How much of these 3 books applies to Nexenta? Especially internals?
Thanks :-)

Vasileios Anagnostopoulos (Email) - 26 July '06 - 17:05

The kernel is the same, so almost everything should apply. Processes, threads, memory, filesystems, I/O…

Darren Dunham (Email) - 26 July '06 - 17:29

The cover pictures are so pathetic.

karl logan (Email) - 26 July '06 - 22:47

Hi Ben,

The books are not available yet in Europe (using I have tried to place the order as well under and they said expected delivery: October 2006 :)

Where have you got your book from ? Maybe next time they can choose a better publisher and make sure the channel distribution really works because right now it simple sucks !

Placed my order for SI 2nd in 2005, I think. I will let the same feedback to the authors !

stefan (Email) - 27 July '06 - 08:00

Hi Stefan,

I’ll pick this up with Prentice hall, so that they can follow through with Amazon Europe. I’ll post a blog entry with expected timeframes (I personally can’t believe them—that they could take that many months to ship outside of the US!)



Richard McDougall - 27 July '06 - 13:33

Prentice Hall responded quickly to Stefan’s question:

“It usually only takes a couple of weeks for books to make it to Europe.
I’ll alert our international guys to make sure Amazon updates their
systems with real instock date, which should be August 2006, not

Richard McDougall - 27 July '06 - 13:50

Cheers. was estimating the books around September. Their estimation however is something not very realistic, so I didnt want to wait and went directly to in US.

There I tried to place the order for both books and I have selected a normal del
ivery: then their estimation was Sept-Oct 2006 ! Gee…

Now I fixed the problem: I placed the order via using the fastest delivery method. It costs 40$ more but thats it. On top of this I think EU adds some tax fee so lets see how much finally both books will cost from US – Finland. I placed the order for 190$.

thanks a lot for help,

stefan (Email) - 27 July '06 - 14:19

I’m based in England & obtained my copies of Solaris Internals Vol 2 on Monday & Performance tools yesterday (Wednesday 26th). I ordered them direct from Prentice Hall using their website [[]]. The best thing is that you need to become a member of the site to place an order & by doing so you get a 35% discount off your order. So I paid a total of $97.49 including shipping to London, England for both books. I hope this helps you guys outside of the states in obtaining the books, I’m very impressed with them so far. I assume buying direct from the publisher doesn’t affect the royalty payments due to Jim, Richard & Brendan…

Conor (Email) - 27 July '06 - 18:03


Thanks for tip. I think this is the best method for getting the books fast, directly from publisher. UPS called me I will get my SI2 next Monday !

stefan (Email) - 28 July '06 - 03:19

One thing you can do to help the authors is getting the book via the links on My guess is they are utilizing the Amazon Associates program, which allow then to get compensation far beyond the normal book royalties.

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