Scalability Rules: 50 Principles for Scaling Web Sites
Product Author Bios
Martin L. Abbott and Michael T. Fisher are founding partners of AKF Partners, where they advise companies on scaling technology platforms, organizations, leadership, and processes. Previously, Marty was COO of the advertising technology startup Quigo, where he was responsible for product strategy and management, technology, and client services. Marty also spent nearly six years at eBay, most recently as SVP of Technology and CTO. Mike spent two years as CTO of Quigo, serving as President during the transition following its acquisition by AOL. Prior to that, Mike led a development organization of more than 200 engineers as PayPal’s VP of Engineering and Architecture.
“Once again, Abbott and Fisher provide a book that I’ll be giving to our engineers. It’s an essential read for anyone dealing with scaling an online business.”
—Chris Lalonde, VP, Technical Operations and Infrastructure Architecture, Bullhorn
“Abbott and Fisher again tackle the difficult problem of scalability in their unique and practical manner. Distilling the challenges of operating a fast-growing presence on the Internet into 50 easy-to understand rules, the authors provide a modern cookbook of scalability recipes that guide the reader through the difficulties of fast growth.”
—Geoffrey Weber, Vice President, Internet Operations, Shutterfly
“Abbott and Fisher have distilled years of wisdom into a set of cogent principles to avoid many nonobvious mistakes.”
—Jonathan Heiliger, VP, Technical Operations, Facebook
“In The Art of Scalability, the AKF team taught us that scale is not just a technology challenge. Scale is obtained only through a combination of people, process, and technology. With Scalability Rules, Martin Abbott and Michael Fisher fill our scalability toolbox with easily implemented and time-tested rules that once applied will enable massive scale.”
—Jerome Labat,VP, Product Development IT, Intuit
“When I joined Etsy, I partnered with Mike and Marty to hit the ground running in my new role, and it was one of the best investments of time I have made in my career. The indispensable advice from my experience working with Mike and Marty is fully captured here in this book. Whether you’re taking on a role as a technology leader in a new company or you simply want to make great technology decisions, Scalability Rules will be the go-to resource on your bookshelf.”
—Chad Dickerson, CTO, Etsy
“Scalability Rules provides an essential set of practical tools and concepts anyone can use when designing, upgrading, or inheriting a technology platform. It’s very easy to focus on an immediate problem and overlook issues that will appear in the future. This book ensures strategic design principles are applied to everyday challenges.”
—Robert Guild, Director and Senior Architect, Financial Services
“An insightful, practical guide to designing and building scalable systems. A must-read for both product-building and operations teams, this book offers concise and crisp insights gained from years of practical experience of AKF principals. With the complexity of modern systems, scalability considerations should be an integral part of the architecture and implementation process. Scaling systems for hypergrowth requires an agile, iterative approach that is closely aligned with product features; this book shows you how.”
—Nanda Kishore, Chief Technology Officer, ShareThis
“For organizations looking to scale technology, people, and processes rapidly or effectively, the twin pairing of Scalability Rules and The Art of Scalability are unbeatable. The rules-driven approach in Scalability Rules makes this not only an easy reference companion, but also allows organizations to tailor the Abbott and Fisher approach to their specific needs both immediately and in the future!”
—Jeremy Wright, CEO, BNOTIONS.ca and Founder, b5media
50 Powerful, Easy-to-Use Rules for Supporting Hypergrowth in Any Environment
Scalability Rules is the easy-to-use scalability primer and reference for every architect, developer, web professional, and manager. Authors Martin L. Abbott and Michael T. Fisher have helped scale more than 200 hypergrowth Internet sites through their consulting practice. Now, drawing on their unsurpassed experience, they present 50 clear, proven scalability rules–and practical guidance for applying them.
Abbott and Fisher transform scalability from a “black art” to a set of realistic, technology-agnostic best practices for supporting hypergrowth in nearly any environment, including both frontend and backend systems.
For architects, they offer powerful new insights for creating and evaluating designs. For developers, they share specific techniques for handling everything from databases to state. For managers, they provide invaluable help in goal-setting, decision-making, and interacting with technical teams. Whatever your role, you’ll find practical risk/benefit guidance for setting priorities–and getting maximum “bang for the buck.”
• Simplifying architectures and avoiding “over-engineering”
• Scaling via cloning, replication, separating functionality, and splitting data sets
• Scaling out, not up
• Getting more out of databases without compromising scalability
• Avoiding unnecessary redirects and redundant double-checking
• Using caches and content delivery networks more aggressively, without introducing unacceptable complexity
• Designing for fault tolerance, graceful failure, and easy rollback
• Striving for statelessness when you can; efficiently handling state when you must
• Effectively utilizing asynchronous communication
• Learning quickly from mistakes, and much more
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Knowing the rule framework helps immensely!,
This review is from: Scalability Rules: 50 Principles for Scaling Web Sites (Paperback)I am sharing a small practical example to illustrate the worth of this beautiful book! I recently joined a company which is the leader in web application acceleration and performance management, streaming media services and content delivery. Many of the rules in this collection helped me to grasp the scalability architecture and principles at my new job very quickly, few are listed below:
Rule 4 -- Reduce DNS Lookups
Chapter 6 -- Using Caching Aggressively (several rules)
Rule 16 -- Actively Use Log Files
Rule 29 -- Failing to Design for Rollback Is Designing for Failure
The fact is if you consider yourself a scalability/infrastructure/cloud architect or manager, this book is a must. I have experienced first hand the rule of "Failing to Design for Rollback Is Designing for Failure" ... so I have deep appreciation of the authors great service in codifying the technical-management scalability framework.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Valuable and well-written,
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This review is from: Scalability Rules: 50 Principles for Scaling Web Sites (Paperback)I liked this book so much I read it twice so that I'd get the maximum benefit from its recommendations. The authors clearly have strong real world experience so their recommendations seem highly relevant. I also like the way the book is organized into 50 rules that you can absorb in small chunks. I was also impressed with the quality of the writing - clear, grammatically correct, and very meaty without a lot of fluff or overly technical jargon.
With regard to the specific recommendations in the book, I was very pleased to see "Don't Overengineer the Solution" as Rule 1. In my experience, this is by far the biggest problem in software today and is the biggest cause of not only scalability problems, but performance, maintainability, and extensibility problems as well.
My only small quibble with the book is the lack of a discussion of object relational mapping technologies. As the authors note several times, the database is usually the most difficult component to... Read more
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Solutions the Work to Real World Problems,
This review is from: Scalability Rules: 50 Principles for Scaling Web Sites (Paperback)I always like books that give me information I can use and make me look smart all at the same time. Scalability Rules is just that kind of book.
It offers clear, understandable and most importantly, implementable solutions to the real problems in building high-traffic web sites. Reading Scalability Rules is like hiring Abbott and Fisher to solve your site performance problems. The book's flow and and coverage sound just like they're talking to you in your conference room about your own website.
Also, I really applaud the book's layout recognizing that different technical team members are looking for different information. For instance, manager's are directed to some chapters while other sections are focused on software developers and technical operations folks.
A great read, technically brilliant and incredibly helpful.
› See all 17 customer reviews...
Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
About the Authors xiv
1 Reduce the Equation 1
2 Distribute Your Work 23
3 Design to Scale Out Horizontally 35
4 Use the Right Tools 53
5 Don’t Duplicate Your Work 71
6 Use Caching Aggressively 87
7 Learn from Your Mistakes 113
8 Database Rules 129
9 Design for Fault Tolerance and Graceful Failure 147
10 Avoid or Distribute State 167
11 Asynchronous Communication and Message Buses 179
12 Miscellaneous Rules 193
13 Rule Review and Prioritization 213
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