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
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.
Jesse Robbins (@jesserobbins) is CEO of Opscode (makers of Chef) and a recognized expert in Infrastructure, Web Operations, and Emergency Management.
He serves as co-chair of the Velocity Web Performance & Operations Conference and contributes to the O'Reilly Radar . Prior to co-founding Opscode, he worked at Amazon.com with a title of "Master of Disaster" where he was responsible for Website Availability for every property bearing the Amazon brand.
Robbins is a volunteer Firefighter/EMT and Emergency Manager, and led a task force deployed in Operation Hurricane Katrina. His experiences in the fire service profoundly influence his efforts in technology, and he strives to distill his knowledge from these two worlds and apply it in service of both.