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Scalable Internet Architectures [Paperback]

Theo Schlossnagle
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 31, 2006 067232699X 978-0672326998 1

As a developer, you are aware of the increasing concern amongst developers and site architects that websites be able to handle the vast number of visitors that flood the Internet on a daily basis. Scalable Internet Architectures addresses these concerns by teaching you both good and bad design methodologies for building new sites and how to scale existing websites to robust, high-availability websites. Primarily example-based, the book discusses major topics in web architectural design, presenting existing solutions and how they work. Technology budget tight? This book will work for you, too, as it introduces new and innovative concepts to solving traditionally expensive problems without a large technology budget. Using open source and proprietary examples, you will be engaged in best practice design methodologies for building new sites, as well as appropriately scaling both growing and shrinking sites. Website development help has arrived in the form of Scalable Internet Architectures.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Theo Schlossnagle is a principal at OmniTI Computer Consulting, where he provides

expert consulting services related to scalable internet architectures, database replication,

and email infrastructure. He is the creator of the Backhand Project and the Ecelerity

MTA, and spends most of his time solving the scalability problems that arise in

high-performance and highly distributed systems.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (July 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067232699X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672326998
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Theo excels at developing elegant solutions to complicated problems as well as applying emerging technologies to solve everyday problems. As a hands-on executive of the company, he applies his experience and ingenuity to deliver innovative solutions to OmniTI clients.

A widely respected industry thought leader, Theo is the author of Scalable Internet Architectures (Sams) and has racked up more than one hundred speaking engagements at conferences worldwide. He was also the principal architect of the Momentum MTA, which is now the flagship product of OmniTI's sister company, Message Systems. Born from Theo's vision and technical wisdom, this innovation is transforming the email software spectrum.

Theo is a computer scientist in every respect. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University in computer science with a focus on graphics and randomized algorithms in distributed systems, he went on to research resource allocation techniques in distributed systems during four years of post-graduate work. Theo is a member of the IEEE and a senior member of the ACM. He serves on the editoral board of the ACM's Queue Magazine and on the ACM professions board.

In addition to being an engineer, Theo is a serial entrepreneur having founded several successful dot com startups including Message Systems, Fontdeck, and Circonus.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read, a disappointing experience March 31, 2009
First and foremost, chapter 10 should be an Appendix. This was a horrible ending to what seemed to be a promising discussion on horizontal scaling for any system/network engineer or astute systems engineer.

Clear and concise, then incoherent and grammatically challenged, this book requires constant read backs leaving the reader with a sense of a diminished level of reading comprehension.

Fortunately there are some very good real world discussions on horizontal scaling, distributed caching, and eliminating single points of failure in your design.

Unfortunately the book was a long documentary on the author's Spread utility/program/solution and the last chapter is dedicated to writing a module for Spread. Completely out of band with regards to actual high performance clustered environments where the author's solution is likely scarce in popularity.

I do appreciate his coverage of logging. Despite my rating, I don't regret the first nine chapters.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this book down January 31, 2008
I picked up this book the other day on the recommendation of a friend, and I can't put it down. I like it because:

* its small (the number of pages 225, the print, the format, the thickness) , but its pithy. Every page has useful stuff.
* the real world experience (pain!) just oozes out of this book. So many times while reading I thought: "Oh yes ... hadn't thought of that."
* its not stridently opensource, nonetheless ends up most there anyway - but only after addressing commercial products and their role
* its business focused, not geek focused - while still being incredibly geeky

Most of all its just really well written and edited. I've caught a couple of minor typos, but nothing that interfered with reading or enjoying the book.

In a world of many great technical books, and insufficient time to read them, its hard to know which ones are worth the effort. This one definitely is.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The previous reviews don't really do it justice November 23, 2006
This is a fantastic book about scalable systems. If you want specifics, he presents opensource and cost effective solutions that can be implemented, but in my opinion that isn't the real value of the book.

The real value is the way he leads you through the thought processess that need to occur as you plan for releasing and using such a system. I really like some of the stuff that is emphasized and has caused me to realize that I had gaps in my knowledge. Gaps like better release planning, and actual cost of such a system, especially as it grows, or shrinks.

I've been extremely happy with this purchase.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and realistic perspective on Scalability and HA September 16, 2007
This is the type of technical book that comes alone all to infrequently. Instead of giving "cookbook" recipes that are inapplicable to the majority of real-world environment, this book discusses how to apply techniques (not recipes) to increase the flexibility (and hence scalability) of your infrastructure. This author obviously has in-depth knowledge of real-work production environments and the unnecessary risks that companies expose their infrastructures to. For example, from my own experience it is pitiful how rampant the concept of HA is confused with load balancing! I have seen CIOs of Fortune 500 companies tout their "risk-free" scalable environment implemented with load balancing. When I explain to them that HA has nothing to do with load balancing, and to insure a high availability infrastructure they need to revamp their architecture, they look at me suspiciously as if I'm trying to squeeze money out of them. When I ask to speak to the Director of Operations and pointedly ask how HA is implemented, and get a response alone the lines of "we have redundant load balancers fronting redundant servers" I know I'm dealing with yet another instance of a gross misunderstanding of HA. When I point out the multiple single points of failure, I'm treated as an adversary intent on discrediting the technical staff! This book reveals the fallacy of such an approach.

The author also discusses elements of a robust HA environment that others book only touch on if not completely ignore. For example, revision control and business continuity among other often overlooked processes. All in all an interesting read that will open your eyes to what is truly a misunderstood topic.

The books handling of scalability, including a discussion of "scaling-down" (or scaling back), is first rate as well.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for global scaling of your application September 12, 2006
For those companies wanting to make available their assets on the Web, on a global scale, then this book can help. It describes the many ways that you can perform this scaling.

Like setting up image clusters that are geographically distributed. And applying methods that deliver packets to an IP address based on the shortest distance to one of a set of servers. A particular instantiation is called Anycast. But the idea is generally applicable.

Another issue is whether to have static or dynamic caching. Depending on the circumstances, one might be significantly cheaper than the other.

The book deals well with these and other issues.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This book does a great job of demystifying many of the misconceptions surrounding web applications, performance, scalability, hardware, software and proper architecture. Finding the right tool for the job is essential, and this book should be on every developer/engineer/managers book shelf!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Scalable for sure...and Value for Money
I ordered this book without even knowing how to pronounce the name of the author :D which is going to happen to you too! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ron
4.0 out of 5 stars a very useful book
It provides many interesting concepts and practical ideas. It is definitely worth reading.
I suggest defining terms in a more formal way. Read more
Published 11 months ago by CARLOS A. URIBE RAMO
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
This book is an absolute classic, with explanations full of solid principles and born of real-world pain. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Ryan Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Great primmer on scalability planning
This book is great, especially as a starting point to learning about scalability planning. It takes a fairly academic approach to all relevant subjects and can quickly get anyone... Read more
Published on February 23, 2010 by Michael R. Schenck
5.0 out of 5 stars Execlent for understanding the issues with scaling a web site
An excellent book on what the issues are with building web site that scale to large numbers of servers. Read more
Published on September 29, 2009 by Robert Harker
5.0 out of 5 stars Execllent for understanding the issues with scaling a web site
An excellent book on what the issues are with building web site that scale to large numbers of servers. Read more
Published on September 29, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars Towards automatic, self-managed operations
I bought this book on recommendations from others and I have to agree that it is fantastic. Don't let the 2006 publication date fool you into avoiding it for something more... Read more
Published on September 19, 2009 by Andrew Gilmartin
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful info
The author has clearly been through the Internet grinder and we're now all the better for it. Scalability of an Internet service should be one of the chief considerations in its... Read more
Published on March 12, 2009 by John
3.0 out of 5 stars Too wordy, book for system/network administrator?
I was disappointed in this book. Even if it does seem that it covers all the right things, in right order, trying not to miss anything -- down the road it came up clearly that this... Read more
Published on March 9, 2009 by Alexey Prohorenko
5.0 out of 5 stars High caliber technical book
It's rare to find a technical book, albeit a computer one, that is well-written as this one. It hits a great sweet spot - not bogged down in abstract truisms, and not mired in... Read more
Published on February 1, 2009 by Greg Mullane
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