- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 13, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449339190
- ISBN-13: 978-1449339197
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Resilience and Reliability on AWS: Engineering at Cloud Scale 1st Edition
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About the Author
Jurg van Vliet graduated from the University of Amsterdam in Computer Science. After his internship with Philips Research, he worked for many web startups and media companies. Passionate about technology, he wrote for many years about it and its effects on society. He became interested in the cloud and started using AWS in 2007. After merging his former company, 2Yellows, with a research firm, he decided to start 9Apps, an AWS boutique that is an AWS solution provider and silver partner of Eucalyptus, together with Flavia. Give Jurg a scalability challenge, and he will not sleep until he solves it—and he will love you for it.
Flavia Paganelli has been developing software in different industries and languages for over 14 years, for companies like TomTom and Layar. She moved to The Netherlands with her cat after finishing an MSc in Computer Science at the University of Buenos Aires. A founder of 9Apps, Flavia loves to create easy-to-understand software that makes people’s lives easier, like the Decaf EC2 smartphone app. When she is not building software, she is probably exercising her other passions, like acting or playing capoeira.
Jasper Geurtsen has been a pragmatic software developer for over 15 years. After programming embedded systems for many years, like the TomTom devices, he co-founded 9apps. This brought him into a world with an infinite supply of cloud computing resources. He loves making all kind of systems work together with other fun people. When he is not making systems work, Jasper enjoys going to music concerts, hiking and camping with his girlfriend and their two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
The great irony of this book is that the introduction and early chapters clearly explain why you need to build a reliable and resilient AWS system. AWS is often used to host 24/7 applications that are expected to be up all the time. As the authors point out, failure will happen. This book, the authors claim, will give you the knowledge you need to build a reliable and resilient system that tolerates component failure without system failure. If the book actually fulfilled this promise, it would be cheap at the purchase price. Unfortunately, the book fails and was a waste of money.
I have been using AWS for nine months. In that time I have pored over the Amazon documentation, implemented a number of AWS services and experimented with others. I am also a software engineers, with decades of experience. Even with this background, I found this book of no use at all. I'll provide some examples.
I have used Solr, but I have no plans currently to use Amazon's Elastic Search. Still, I always want to learn, so I read Chapter 5 on Elastic Search. I could not understand anything other than the idea that Elastic Search could be used to replace Solr. Elastic search is introduced by listing some JSON and some scripts, with little explanation. Perhaps I am supposed to be an expert in AWS scripting from reading the authors previous book. This is not the case, but even if it was, this is a remarkably sparse chapter on what seems like a complex topic.
I don't need to use Elastic Search. But I am using a Postgres database instance. As the authors seem to recommend, I installed Postgres on an Amazon Linux instance. I have configured Postgres by hand and I periodically have to update the Linux instance with the current patches. This configuration works well in development since when I am not using my Amazon instance, I can stop it and then restart it when I need it again. I have experimented with an Amazon RDS instance configured with Postgres and it was very expensive for what I currently needed.
In my current system, if my instance Postgres fails, my system will fail. Chapter 6 would seem to be exactly what I need to build a reliable and resilient Postgres service. The authors also recommend building an EC2 instance with Posgres (or at least that's what I think they recommend), which mirrors what I have done. Unfortunately, even with the knowledge and experience I have, this chapter was of no use. Once again, almost all of the information was presented in the form of scripts, which go on for pages. The authors do not explain the parts of the script. It's like reading complex code written by someone who believes that their code is self documenting.
As the authors note in the introduction, there really is no one else that provides all of the components that AWS does. The problem with AWS is that the documentation is not deep enough to easily understand how to build complex systems on AWS. A book like this is really needed. Unfortunately, the authors completely fail to deliver on the promise they make at the start of the book.
I would give this book a pass. Even for someone who is experienced with AWS scripts, this book will be problematic since so little explanation outside the scripts are provided. Unfortunately I cannot recommend a better book, but I would not spend money on this one.
The examples are sound byte paragraphs interspersed with pages and pages of code listings with no comments or description of their functioning. This is provides almost no help for deploying those specific solutions and even less if you are trying to think about how to architect an overall application for resilience and reliability in AWS.
Not helpful at all.
The topic is an interesting and timely one. There are lots of books out now on cloud technologies, but this one has a narrow focus that could be of interest to someone building a large scale application using AWS that has high availability and scalability requirements. However, the authors didn't focus on that audience, but instead addressed a narrow topic at a broad audience. The result is schizophrenic.
The beginning chapters are almost too simplistic for an audience interested in an advanced topic such as this, and the subsequent chapters are too cryptic for those without an extensive prior knowledge of the subject to understand. For example, the chapter on top ten "survival" tips includes such gems as "embrace change" and "everything will break." Those tips aren't unique to AWS at all. Any developer who's been around the block enough to be interested in developing large scale applications using AWS should have plenty of scars from learning those lessons on more traditional development projects. On the other hand, the chapters that are solution specific assume too much knowledge of the subject. There are pages of Python code for a number of neat integration tricks, but very little explanation about how the code works. If a developer is familiar enough with the technology to read and understand a Python script for complex AWS integration tasks without any accompanying documentation, they don't need to be reading this book. The entire book is further confused by an awkward writing style. In some places it's written in first person singular and in others, first person plural. Transition and tone are all over the map making a complex subject even harder to follow.
Despite its flaws, this book does fill a niche. The information it contains could help to make better informed architecture decisions. For that systems architect, I would recommend this book with the caveat that you should skip the first few chapters and be prepared to read each subsequent chapter twice to understand it.
Here I got lots of infos which I'm still working on fully understand.
Resilence is not something you get out of the box and is something to be very carefully planned. I'd missed some chapter about some global resilence, but maybe all resilence and reliability facts belong to more than one book.
Since Windows was again missed I will stay at 4 stars and wait for the next book.