Solaris Dynamic Tracing Guide


The plockstat provider makes available probes for the following types of events:

Contention Events

These probes correspond to contention on a user-level synchronization primitive, and fire when a thread is forced to wait for a resource to become available. Solaris is generally optimized for the non-contention case, so prolonged contention is not expected; these probes should be used to understand those cases where contention does arise. Because contention is designed to be (relatively) rare, enabling contention-event probes generally doesn't have a serious probe effect; they can be enabled without concern for substantially affecting performance.

Hold Events

These probes correspond to acquiring, releasing or otherwise manipulating a user-level synchronization primitive. As such, these probes can be used to answer arbitrary questions about the way user-level synchronization primitives are manipulated. Because applications typically acquire and release synchronization primitives very often, enabling hold-event probes can have a greater probe effect than enabling contention-event probes. While the probe effect induced by enabling them can be substantial, it is not pathological; they may still be enabled with confidence on production applications.

Error Events

These probes correspond to any kind of anomalous behavior encountered when acquiring or releasing a user-level synchronization primitive. These events can be used to detect errors encountered while a thread is blocking on a user-level synchronization primitive. Error events should be extremely uncommon so enabling them shouldn't induce a serious probe effect.