on 26 April 2014
When cloud technologies go beyond the hype, they can be very interesting. I have spent some time looking and evaluating different stacks and cloud providers. Amazon's AWS is certainly the 800 pound gorilla of Cloud offerings. I had high expectations for a book with a title like
“Resilience and Reliability on AWS”. If you have an UNIX administration and architecture background “Resilience and Reliability' is specially what your looking for (and evaluating) in cloud offerings.
Let's start by the good part. This little book (<150 pages) is a will give you a good overview of the many components of Amazon's cloud setup. Some information about FOSS projects is useful outside of AWS.
The bad is that while there are some tips and nice ad-hoc examples about Resilience and Reliability, this is by far not the subject of the book. You get the feeling the authors know about the principles of good and stable engineering and administration, but as a reader you don't benefit from their experience. You'll be a witness of their success histories, but you'll will not learn about the basic principles.
Besides the bad, there is also the terrible. Maybe half the pages are filled with terribly formated code. Pages and pages of white space sensitive Python without syntax colouring and bad formatting is too much for a Perl guy :). There are other ways to deliver code in 2013 (publishing year). IT moves fast and cloud offering change all the time. Printed code tied to a service will be dead even before... well, it should be useless by now.
I would not recommend if you want to learn about Resilience and Reliability. Maybe a third could be useful as an introduction to AWS, but you may get better results by reading the docs or the upstream howto's.