Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Outdoors Gift Guide on PlasmaCar
The Art of Scalability and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise 1st Edition

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0137030422
ISBN-10: 0137030428
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
More Buying Choices
12 New from $32.50 24 Used from $2.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews


“This book is much more than you may think it is. Scale is not just about designing Web sites that don’t crash when lots of users show up. It is about designing your company so that it doesn’t crash when your business needs to grow. These guys have been there on the front lines of some of the most successful Internet companies of our time, and they share the good, the bad, and the ugly about how to not just survive, but thrive.”

–Marty Cagan, Founder, Silicon Valley Product Group

“A must read for anyone building a Web service for the mass market.”

–Dana Stalder, General Partner, Matrix Partners

“Abbott and Fisher have deep experiences with scale in both large and small enterprises. What’s unique about their approach to scalability is they start by focusing on the true foundation: people and process, without which true scalability cannot be built. Abbott and Fisher leverage their years of experience in a very accessible and practical approach to scalability that has been proven over time with their significant success.”

–Geoffrey Weber, VP of Internet Operations/IT, Shutterfly

“If I wanted the best diagnoses for my health I would go to the Mayo Clinic. If I wanted the best diagnoses for my portfolio companies’ performance and scalability I would call Martin and Michael. They have recommended solutions to performance and scalability issues that have saved some of my companies from a total rewrite of the system.”

–Warren M. Weiss, General Partner, Foundation Capital

“As a manager who worked under Michael Fisher and Marty Abbott during my time at PayPal/eBay, the opportunity to directly absorb the lessons and experiences presented in this book are invaluable to me now working at Facebook.”

–Yishan Wong, Director of Engineering, Facebook

"The Art of Scalability is by far the best book on scalability on the market today. The authors tackle the issues of scalability from processes, to people, to performance, to the highly technical. Whether your organization is just starting out and is defining processes as you go, or you are a mature organization, this is the ideal book to help you deal with scalability issues before, during, or after an incident. Having built several projects, programs, and companies from small to significant scale, I can honestly say I wish I had this book one, five, and ten years ago.”

–Jeremy Wright, CEO, b5media, Inc.

“Only a handful of people in the world have experienced the kind of growth-related challenges that Fisher and Abbott have seen at eBay, PayPal, and the other companies they’ve helped to build. Fewer still have successfully overcome such challenges. The Art of Scalability provides a great summary of lessons learned while scaling two of the largest internet companies in the history of the space, and it’s a must-read for any executive at a hyper-growth company. What’s more, it’s well-written and highly entertaining. I couldn’t put it down.”

–Kevin Fortuna, Partner, AKF Consulting

“Marty and Mike’s book covers all the bases, from understanding how to build a scalable organization to the processes and technology necessary to run a highly scalable architecture. They have packed in a ton of great practical solutions from real world experiences. This book is a must-read for anyone having difficulty managing the scale of a hyper-growth company or a startup hoping to achieve hyper growth.”

–Tom Keeven, Partner, AKF Consulting

The Art of Scalability is remarkable in its wealth of information and clarity; the authors provide novel, practical, and demystifying approaches to identify, predict, and resolve scalability problems before they surface. Marty Abbott and Michael Fisher use their rich experience and vision, providing unique and groundbreaking tools to assist small and hyper-growth organizations as they maneuver in today’s demanding technological environments.”

–Joseph M. Potenza, Attorney, Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.

From the Back Cover

A Comprehensive, Proven Approach to IT Scalability from Two Veteran Software, Technology, and Business Executives


InThe Art of Scalability,AKF Partners cofounders Martin L. Abbott and Michael T. Fisher cover everything IT and business leaders must know to build technology infrastructures that can scale smoothly to meet any business requirement. Drawing on their unparalleled experience managing some of the world's highest-transaction-volume Web sites, the authors provide detailed models and best-practice approaches available in no other book.


Unlike previous books on scalability,The Art of Scalabilitydoesn't limit its coverage to technology. Writing for both technical and nontechnical decision-makers, this book covers everything that impacts scalability, including architecture, processes, people, and organizations.


Throughout, the authors address a broad spectrum of real-world challenges, from performance testing to IT governance. Using their tools and guidance, organizations can systematically overcome obstacles to scalability and achieve unprecedented levels of technical and business performance.


Coverage includes

  • Staffing the scalable organization: essential organizational, management, and leadership skills for technical leaders
  • Building processes for scale: process lessons from hyper-growth companies, from technical issue resolution to crisis management
  • Making better “build versus buy decisions
  • Architecting scalable solutions: powerful proprietary models for identifying scalability needs and choosing the best approaches to meet them
  • Optimizing performance through caching, application and database splitting, and asynchronous design
  • Scalability techniques for emerging technologies, including clouds and grids
  • Planning for rapid data growth and new data centers
  • Evolving monitoring strategies to tightly align with customer requirements

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137030428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137030422
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Aban on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is good from an HR / management perspective on scalability. I wish the authors had been more technical (and by that I mean less "qualitative" and more statistical) in their approach (even though I agree there can be no "one size fits all" solution to this problem). There are instances in the book where the authors mention that while a team of 1 can produce 1 unit of work, a team of 2 can produce only 1.99 units of work, an assertion which makes about as much sense in the real world as a unicorn. I am sorry if I am coming across as being very negative, because there are some very strong points in this book which are worth considering. However, my grievance (as an engineer) is that it is not for a techie who wants to create a scalable company (aka Brinn/Page or Zuckerburg), but instead is for a management grad who wants to manage a tech company. I wish there were more books available for the former, than the latter.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By D. Ostrowski on March 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Someone wrote, of this book: "However, my grievance (as an engineer) is that it is not for a techie who wants to create a scalable company (aka Brinn/Page or Zuckerburg), but instead is for a management grad who wants to manage a tech company."

I think this is spot on. I am a software engineer of about 7 years and I was looking for technical insight on scaling as well as tips for an engineer advancing through the phases of a start up Internet company.

The book belabored simple or even self-evident concepts to the point of almost unreadability. I thought, honestly, at some points they were padding it. For someone with my experience level, which I wouldn't self-rate even as "a lot of experience", the book was almost insight-less. Perhaps a management degree graduate looking to get into tech management would find this text useful in some way.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Soumen Sarkar on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Imagine a highly scalable architecture of a successful ecommerce company.
If you visualize distributed data centers, content distribution networks,
Brewers CAP theorem etc you have only half of the scalability story.
This book tells the whole story of organizational scalability of which
technical scalability is only a part. Consider some examples like how do
you perform reliable change management of a vast infrastructure to
maintain business continuity or what should be the model for unambiguous
responsibility-accountibility in a scalable organization.

I have worked in a critical scalability project of and can vouch
that this book is a gem.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Nicholas Tubbs on October 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book on scalability. Ostensibly it's voiced in terms of scalable web architecture, but in truth it's about scaling any technology organization. Many of the observations have to do with aspects of scaling outside of technology enough that there is a great deal of general applicability. So, if you're hell-bent on buying a book on specific technology, programming, and language advice ... look elsewhere. This is not your book.

If you're still reading this, many may be put off by the seeming lack of focus on specific technological or architectural aspects, but indeed that's the central thesis of the book: There is virtuous cycle of improvement when people and processes improve: the technology also improves. There is a vicious cycle when people and process degrades: technology also degrades. Get the people and process right, and the technology is "easy." You have to buy into the premise of the authors a little bit, but coming from a senior engineering management position, I find the observations intuitive and insightful.

So, this is not a cookbook for how to build a web app or how to be a software architect. Instead, it's a guidebook for the newly minted CTO, senior engineering manager, or non-technical executive. It's a collection of best practices, processes, and observations about how to run and think about a technology organization.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CollectedReader on January 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have pointed out the book will not go into technical details; however, it does not linger at the high level view either. I found that it does talk about issues and possible solutions, though without going into details of implementation of those solutions. There was enough discussion so that you can apply issues to your own situation and then go explore for more details. Meaning, it will give you some direction in what to look for. And this is what makes the book valuable as a resource for someone who is managing operations. For an engineer who wants to solve scale problems it won't shed a whole lot of light. It is not a step by step guide, for that you need to go to another book.
What I also liked about the book is that it provides so much more than just talk of issues of scale but all those subjects around it as well, in a concise format. The book is dense but does not bog down in any one subject so that you get bored or feel like you should skim most of it when reading a chapter.
There are sections purely on management and processes so many people might want to gloss or skip those areas, but for others its a great addition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grant Leathers on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Art of Scalability is an excellent book, written by some guys that know A LOT about scaling technology and organizations. These were the guys that scaled the infrastructure at eBay to support massive growth in the late 90s through the mid 2000s. The book focuses on people, process, and technology - ALL of which are critical to building a scalable company. Some folks write books purely focused on the technical aspect of scaling a business, which I think misses most of the picture. Yes there are certain technical design principles that are critical such as scale out, not up, implement caching, etc. The point is that if you hire and fire the right people and implement correct processes you have a much greater chance to implement the appropriate technology infrastructure to support a high-growth business. What really elevates this book from others is that it is not too abstract when talking about people and process. They provide detailed examples of what a post mortem meeting agenda should be and who should attend, what the role of the problem manager should be, etc.

ON the technical side of the equation, they spend a lot of time discussing design principles and architecture trade-offs. This includes when to split databases, separating applications or actions into 'swim lanes', etc. There is enough here to satisfy someone who is just looking for technical design and architecture as well.

If you are involved in building or supporting a scalable technology business this is a MUST read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: load balancing software