- Paperback: 156 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 3, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596518579
- ISBN-13: 978-0596518578
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.
Top customer reviews
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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.
* Why do you need capacity planning?
* What information should you gather for capacity planning and how?
* How to predict trends for your web applications?
* How and when to procure new hardware?
* How to create a sustainable capacity planning process?
As the author mentions in the preface, the book has a lot of common sense material. Most experienced enterprise web operations architects should be familiar with this material. But, it is refreshing to see this urban wisdom captured and printed in a book format. The book is unique in that it is not meticulously organized and illustrated like a text book or a reference guide. It provides a smattering of anecdotes, examples, gotchas, and tools from the author's experience in a rapidly growing start up environment at Flickr.
I am looking forward to a second edition of the book where the author can delve deeper into some missing aspects that are critical to capacity planning like log analysis and performance improvements. Enterprise web operations folks who are familiar with commercial tools like Sitescope, OpenView, Opsware, Gomez, etc. rather than free/open source tools and who manage a large number of diverse applications might have a learning curve to relate the examples in the book to their environment.
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.
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* Why do you need capacity planning?Read more