- 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: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,124,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blueprints for High Availability 2nd Edition
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From the Back Cover
Expert techniques for designing your system to achieve maximum availability and predictable downtime
With your companys 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 failas 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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The book gives a thorough treatment of the subject. The explanations were good; the graphics add value but are a little basic; also there is some favorable bias towards Veritas who originally published the book. (Veritas has some high availability software and services you can buy.) But overall a definite keeper. I recommend it if you're interested in High Availability design and concepts.
Having said that, I will go on to say that I am pleased with my purchase. This book is great, not because of the detail it contains in any one area, but because it tells you what all the areas are that you need to be concerned with if you're implementing a highly available system. Lots of books answer questions on how to implement this or that aspect of high availability; what's much less common is a book like this that you can use as a check list to see if you have all the bases covered. It doesn't go into great detail on any single topic, but it gives you enough meat to make informed decisions in the less technical areas (like staff, training, etc.) and to send you searching for more detail in the more technical areas (like backup, RAID, and clustering).
I'll pay Evan and Hal another compliment. I own many more technical books than I have read. I didn't really expect to read this book, just because I don't read most of the books I buy all the way through. What I found, however, is that this book sort of creeps up on you. You read a little, and a little more. You put it down, only to pick it up later. The information is very well organized and chapters are self-contained. You can pretty much open it anywhere and have an informative read for 15 minutes, for an hour, or whatever time you have to give it.
It's obvious that both authors bring lots of hands on experience to this book. The "Tales from the Field" anecdotal sidebars are worth the price of the book by themselves. I wish I could bring these guys to bear when I have HA problems. If I can't, I'll at least have their book at my side.
Doesn't describe any product in details, the authors explicitly refrain from doing so. Instead, the book makes you think the right way by pointing at the actual problems and offering actual decisions. Upon reading this book you can easily answer the question "what can we do to make it work", not "what brand of server should we buy".
Covers HA theory, redundant hardware, redundant systems design, failover techniques, replication, backups, procedures, disaster recovery.
The only thing that I didn't like and still can remember (a year later that I've read it), is that in my opinion the authors should stay totally clear off the "how to write a stable software" side of HA. There is like 2 pages of that, and it doesn't sound like anything sane.
Clear language. Solid visual design. Lots of (fun and) real-life samples. See the title of the review.
As a system architect with a programming background facing the task of designing a simple highly reliable system this provided an excellent perspective on the different issues and technologies. It left me well prepared to then delve into the product literature of specific products that addressed the issues relevant to the project.
I believe this would also be an excellent book for IT managers who are looking at commissioning a "high availability" system, whether from an external software integrator or an internal company IT department. In particular, it describes what is easily achievable, what is achievable only at great expense, and what is simply not doable. It also emphasises the roles and responsibilities of people involved in ongoing support of HA systems; this book clearly describes how creating such a system is not the end but the start of providing reliable services.
The reading will be challenging for those of non-technical background, but the book keeps its focus on why you would use each technology rather than simply how each is applied, which makes it relevant to a wide range of readers. It should also ensure that this book remains useful even as technologies change.
What this book does not do is provide a formula for setting up a system. It's a great first step, though.
In addition the writing is clear, structure and flow are good and mistakes are few. Not the lightest of reads, but then again this is a serious topic about systems worth serious money. And at 550-odd pages of dense reading material, this book is well worth investing in.