The Art of Capacity Planning: Scaling Web Resources 1st Edition
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About the Author
John Allspaw is currently Operations Engineering Manager at Flickr, the popular photo site. He has had extensive experience working with growing web sites since 1999. These include online news magazines (Salon.com, InfoWorld.com, Macworld.com) and social networking sites that experienced extreme growth (Friendster and Flickr). During his time at Friendster, traffic increased 5X. He was responsible for their transition from a couple dozen servers in a failing data center to over 400 machines across two data centers, and the complete redesign of the backing infrastructure. When he joined Flickr, they had 10 servers in a tiny data center in Vancouver; they are now located in multiple data centers across the US. Prior to his web experience, Allspaw worked in modeling and simulation as a mechanical engineer doing car crash simulations for the NHTSA.
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (October 14, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 156 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0596518579
- ISBN-13 : 978-0596518578
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.49 x 9.19 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The one disappointing thing was that I was unable to figure out how to access the code online, but honestly you do not need it. Just would have been nice to see it.
I can't recommend this enough, my team at work is now reading this and our conversations have changed for the better.
While I was reading I felt John's analogies were very similar to the way the character Charlie from TV's "Numb3rs" explains something very complicated with a real world examples. I liked the examples of the Bacon Delivery truck and the Super-market checkout especially to visualize what was going on in the process of the servers.
One huge take away was the level of importance tying application metrics and server metrics back to financial costs. SLA's don't really matter if the cost of adding another 9 to the 99.999's type model is more expensive than your client is paying you for the whole contract. In essence don't promise 99.9% over 99.0 percent if the .9 improvement will cost $10,000 in additional hardware and the contract is only worth $10,000. Many would argue but it is only a 9/10ths of a percent improvement how big of a deal can it be? Remember the first 1% of keeping up a server is not the same as the last 1%.
The chapter on regression and line fitting was mostly a refresher. The chapters on cloud computing were excellent as real world examples are always useful for me. I also liked the fact he referred to flickr a lot, so there was a sense of walking the path vs. knowing the path.
Some co-workers did joke that they must not know what they are doing because the seats are all empty on the cover. I'd be curious to see if the same book sold better with the same cover and seats filled. Other comments criticize the book for being only 150 pages but I would rather have 150 good pages than 300 bad pages any day of the week. Also the author explains the smallish size in the preface.
All in all a great quick read that cut to the details and made me feel more confident I could bridge the gap between business and IT in a short amount of time.
The book keeps the high-level perspective necessary to give useful advice in a messy field, without getting lost in minutiae that would be specific to a given site. The author goes over the hows and whys of planning your capacity and the process needed to maintain it as traffic grows, with interesting insights such as designing for measurement (i.e. not mixing separate components of the architecture on the same machine in ways that hinders measurement of actual capacity), how to place a procurement process in place, and the ever-present point of presenting your data convincingly to the business owners that write the checks.
Allspaw places the emphasis on the right places, and does so in a concise manner: at less than 150 pages, this book packs a lot of meat for its pages, and as a fan of brevity the point did not go unnoticed on me. This is one of the best titles to come out of O'Reilly in the last few months, a must-have for your technical library if you work in the field.
Top reviews from other countries
A good reference to any questions arising when your business friends do drive-bys at your desk and tell you they've just released something to your site that some coder-in-a-cupboard-you-don't-know-about spent the last week on and uses APIs that may, or may not be under sudden load as a result.
Would highly recommend.