Web Operations: Keeping the Data On Time

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Jun 21, 2010 - 338 pages
47 Reviews

A web application involves many specialists, but it takes people in web ops to ensure that everything works together throughout an application's lifetime. It's the expertise you need when your start-up gets an unexpected spike in web traffic, or when a new feature causes your mature application to fail. In this collection of essays and interviews, web veterans such as Theo Schlossnagle, Baron Schwartz, and Alistair Croll offer insights into this evolving field. You'll learn stories from the trenches--from builders of some of the biggest sites on the Web--on what's necessary to help a site thrive.

  • Learn the skills needed in web operations, and why they're gained through experience rather than schooling
  • Understand why it's important to gather metrics from both your application and infrastructure
  • Consider common approaches to database architectures and the pitfalls that come with increasing scale
  • Learn how to handle the human side of outages and degradations
  • Find out how one company avoided disaster after a huge traffic deluge
  • Discover what went wrong after a problem occurs, and how to prevent it from happening again

Contributors include:

John Allspaw

Heather Champ

Michael Christian

Richard Cook

Alistair Croll

Patrick Debois

Eric Florenzano

Paul Hammond

Justin Huff

Adam Jacob

Jacob Loomis

Matt Massie

Brian Moon

Anoop Nagwani

Sean Power

Eric Ries

Theo Schlossnagle

Baron Schwartz

Andrew Shafer


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The Career
Lessons Learned
3 Infrastructure and Application Metrics
4 Continuous Deployment
5 Infrastructure As Code
6 Monitoring
7 How Complex Systems Fail
8 Community Management and Web Operations
10 Dev and Ops Collaboration and Cooperation
UserFacing Metrics
12 Relational Database Strategy and Tactics for the Web
The Art and Science of Postmortems
14 Storage
15 Nonrelational Databases
16 Agile Infrastructure
17 Things That Go Bump in the Night and How to Sleep Through Them

9 Dealing with Unexpected Traffic Spikes

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About the author (2010)

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.

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