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Blueprints for High Availability 2nd Edition

21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471430261
ISBN-10: 0471430269
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From the Back Cover

Expert techniques for designing your system to achieve maximum availability and predictable downtime

With your company’s reputation and profits at stake, downtime on your 24/7 web site is not an option, nor is poor application performance. Now in its second edition, this authoritative book provides you with the design blueprints to maximize your system availability.

Striking a balance between costs and benefits, the authors show you all of the elements of your computer system that can fail–as well as ways to assess their reliability and attain resiliency and high availability for each one. A unique feature is "Tales from the Field," a collection of true-to-life experiences that will help you avoid mistakes and deploy your system with confidence.

Learn how to design your system to limit the impact of such problems as computer viruses, natural disasters, or the corruption of critical files and discover how to:

  • Implement effective backup-and-restore and tape management strategies
  • Arrange disks and disk arrays to avoid downtime caused by inevitable failures
  • Utilize technologies such as Storage Area Networks (SANs), Network Attached Storage (NAS), Virtualization, and clustering
  • Achieve effective application recovery after any part of the system has failed
  • Replicate critical data to remote systems across a network

About the Author

EVAN MARCUS is a Principal Engineer for VERITAS Software. With more than twelve years of experience in the field of high availability, he is a frequent speaker at industry technical conferences.
HAL STERN is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Services business unit of Sun Microsystems. He has worked on reliability and availability issues for some of the largest online trading and sports information sites as well as several network service providers.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (September 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471430269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471430261
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Matthew C. Adduci on January 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Messrs. Marcus and Stern have created a book that works for the seasoned sysadmin as well as the HA newbie. Frank depictions of case studies provide helpful insight into the many pitfalls of creating HA solutions. The "key points" sections at the end of each chapter provide quick and easy checkpoints should a reference refresher be required.
Another excellent trait of this book is its readability and realistic approach to the HA "art". The mixture of pure philosophy tempered with daily reality provided me at least, with more certainty in finding the best overall balance of reliability, availability, and manageability vs. things like cost of ownership, etc.
There is an excellent level of technical proficiency treated in the text as well. The hardcore bits and bytes folk won't be dissappointed by Mr. Stern's treatment various scenarios. The attention Mr. Marcus pays to higher level structural detail also makes you say occasionally, "gee i would have never thought of that.". (And even if you had, i doubt you would have been able to elaborate on it as humorously.) :)
It's one of the few books i refer back to occasionally, (not so surprisingly, this goes for Mr. Stern's Managing NIS/NFS book as well). Overall, it's just an extremely invaluable book that's actually a good read as well. (love the "Tales from the field" blurbs). I don't believe there's any stone regarding HA left unturned by this book. Replication, DR, backup and's all there.
I look forward to their next collaborative effort.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on December 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
High availability is almost like the Holy Grail - believers know it exists, but getting it can be a quest. Not that it's an elusive, impossible-to-achieve objective - it's just expensive and the path to high availability is filled with challenges, blind alleys and the risk of spending money on the wrong things.
This book covers every conceivable aspect of high availability, from application recovery to the [Zen] of service level agreements. The emphasis is on the underlying technologies, with a good deal of attention paid to processes and business considerations as well.
There are two things that stand out about this book: it is comprehensive and the authors are in-the-trenches technical types who can actually write.
It is obvious that the authors have stuggled with and mastered every technology and technique about which they have written. This is a refreshing change from the plethora of technical books written by professional writers who are assigned book projects because they have writing ability, but not necessarily any real technical background. So, in a world that is littered with books with no substance, this gem is definitely worth buying.
I am not going to rehash the table of contents, which is readily available on this page - I will say that the authors gave each of the topics excellent treatment on a number of levels. First, they have deleved into the mechanics of each topic, they have shown the strengths and weaknesses of each, and in many cases, have provided anecdotes and real-life stories about their experiences with designing and implementing similar solutions. The anecdotal content follows a pattern: it points out problems and how the authors resolved those problems when they encountered them.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally a book that specifically discusses the very important topic of availability. The book discusses how to address each layer of an infrastructure from the data layer, network, application, etc. with an emphasis on availability requirements. I found it to be an excellent synthesis of all of the components of end-to-end availability. Anyone involved in Web Architecture and design will certainly find value in this book. My only criticism is that there are a few plugs specifically for Veritas but as a fan of their products it didn't bother me.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Wallace V. French III on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has ever worked with me in the past knows I'm somewhat of an availability freak. It is the mark of a network administrator's excellence if they can say they maintain a 99.75% availability rating. High Availability as a design concept has kind of been brushed off to the side in recent years. This book was written is 2000 and at that time I think I bought about three books on the subject. Nothing new has been written about it. During the year 2000 there was a lot of discussion about availability in the private sector since a company like or any other on-line retailer lost big bucks if they were down for just minutes. Availability rating was the most important benchmark of a company's network. This book is my favorite on the subject because it is easy to understand. Cisco published a book on availability and you had to be a CCIE to understand the Introduction. This book is easy to read and marked with good illustrations to emphasize things like RAID, SANs, redundant routing, etc. Hardware companies have built servers, hard drives, controllers, etc. with high availability in mind so for the network administrator it is no longer critical for them to understand or be able to explain availability. However, high availability as a design concept is still the standard and once you understand how it all works and what the difference between 99% versus 99.75% availability you can take steps to maintain that high availability of your network systems.
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