Brendan Gregg

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Brendan Gregg
Brendan Gregg speaking at ZFS Day, Oct 2, 2012, San Francisco.
Occupation(s)Computer scientist and computer engineer
Known forUSE method, eBPF, DTraceToolkit

Brendan Gregg is a computer engineer known for his work on computing performance. He works for Intel,[1] and previously worked at Netflix, Sun Microsystems, Oracle Corporation, and Joyent. He was born in Newcastle, New South Wales and graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia.

In November, 2013, he was awarded the LISA Outstanding Achievement Award "For contributions to the field of system administration, particularly groundbreaking work in systems performance analysis methodologies."[2] He investigates and writes about Linux performance on his blog.[3]


Gregg has developed various methodologies for performance analysis, notably the USE Method methodology (short for Utilization Saturation and Errors Method).[4]

He has also created visualization types to aid performance analysis, including latency heat maps,[5] utilization heat maps, subsecond offset heat maps, and flame graphs.[6]

His tools are included in multiple operating systems and products, and are in use by companies worldwide. He pioneered eBPF as an observability technology,[7] including authoring many advanced eBPF tracing tools to provide unique insights into system behavior. As a kernel engineer, he developed the ZFS L2ARC: A pioneering file system performance technology. He has also developed and delivered professional training courses on computer performance.

Gregg has authored hundreds of articles about systems performance and multiple technical books, including Systems Performance 2nd Edition (2020) and BPF Performance Tools (2019), both in the Addison-Wesley professional computing series. His prior books were on Solaris performance and DTrace, and were published by Prentice Hall. His books are recommended or required reading at major technology companies.

Gregg was previously known as an expert on using DTrace and the creator of the DTraceToolkit.[8] He is also the star of the Shouting in the Data Center viral video.[9]


  • Brendan Gregg (December 2020). Systems Performance, Second edition. ISBN 978-0136820154.
  • Brendan Gregg (December 2019). BPF Performance Tools. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0136554820.
  • Brendan Gregg (May 2016). "The Flame Graph". Communications of the ACM. Association for Computing Machinery. 59 (6): 48–57. doi:10.1145/2909476. ISSN 0001-0782. S2CID 13918204. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  • Brendan Gregg (April 2014). "The Case of the Clumsy Kernel". ;login:. USENIX. 39 (2): 21–25. ISSN 1044-6397. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  • Brendan Gregg (October 2013). Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0133390094.


  1. ^ @brendangregg (1 May 2022). "Thanks, Greg! I'm thrilled to be joining [Intel] at this exciting time" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ USENIX Association (10 November 2013). "LISA Outstanding Achievement Award".
  3. ^ Brendan Gregg. "".
  4. ^ Gregg, Brendan. "The USE Method". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  5. ^ Joab Jackson (28 June 2010). "Oracle engineer reveals latency mysteries with heat maps". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  6. ^ Joab Jackson (8 November 2013). "Flame graph shows computer system performance in a new light".
  7. ^ Linux Foundation (12 August 2021). "Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix Launch eBPF Foundation as Part of the Linux Foundation".
  8. ^ Brendan Gregg. "DTraceToolkit".
  9. ^ Bryan Cantrill; Brendan Gregg (31 December 2008). "Shouting in the Datacenter". YouTube.

External links[edit]


US patent 8881279B2, Brendan D. Gregg, "Systems and methods for zone-based intrusion detection", issued 2014-11-04, assigned to Joyent, Inc. 

US patent 8032708, Brendan D. Gregg, Adam H. Leventhal, Bryan M. Cantrill, "Method and system for caching data in a storage system", issued 2011-10-04, assigned to Oracle America, Inc.