libMicro: we scare because we care

In some ways, libMicro was a reaction to LMbench (which Bart Smaalders and I considered unscientific and a pain in the neck), but we really wanted to write a useful tool which could produce compelling data to drive improvements in Solaris. The result has exceeded our expectations dramatically. Not only has libMicro produced data for many “Linux is faster than Solaris at xxx” bugs, but it also kick-started Sun’s interest in the AMD Opteron processor (as well as helping the adoption of SPARC64).

libMicro also has the distinction of being one of the first open source projects at hosted under Mercurial on the collaboration website. It is still used extensively within Sun, and the code has also proven to be a useful reference for those wanting to write multithreaded applications. Today libMicro can be found alive and well here, and even our competitors are using it!

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