Scalability Rules Principles for Scaling Web Sites

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-08-30
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Fully updated! Fifty Powerful, Easy-to-Use Rules for Supporting Hyper Growth

“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, Second Edition, is the easy-to-use scalability primer and reference for every architect, developer, network/software engineer, web professional, and manager. Authors Martin L. Abbott and Michael T. Fisher have helped scale hundreds of high-growth companies and thousands of systems. Drawing on their immense experience, they present 50 up-to-the-minute technical best practices for supporting hyper growth practically anywhere.


Fully updated to reflect new technical trends and experiences, this edition is even easier to read, understand, and apply. Abbott and Fisher have also added powerful “stories behind the rules”: actual experiences and case studies from CTOs and technology executives at Etsy, NASDAQ, Salesforce, Shutterfly, Chegg, Warby Parker, Twitter, and other scalability pioneers.


Architects will find powerful technology-agnostic insights for creating and evaluating designs. Developers will discover specific techniques for handling everything from databases to state. Managers will get invaluable help in setting goals, making decisions, and interacting with technical teams. Whatever your role, you’ll find practical risk/benefit guidance for setting priorities, translating plans into action, and gaining maximum scalability at minimum cost.


You’ll learn how to

  • Simplify architectures and avoid “over-engineering”
  • Design scale into your solution, so you can scale on a just-in-time basis
  • Make the most of cloning and replication
  • Separate functionality and split data sets
  • Scale out, not up
  • Get more out of databases without compromising scalability
  • Eliminate unnecessary redirects and redundant double-checking
  • Use caches and CDNs more aggressively, without unacceptable complexity
  • Design for fault tolerance, graceful failure, and easy rollback
  • Emphasize statelessness, and efficiently handle state when you must
  • Effectively utilize asynchronous communication
  • Learn from your own mistakes and others’ high-profile failures
  • Prioritize your actions to get the biggest “bang for the buck”

Author Biography

Martin L. Abbott is a founding partner at the growth and scalability advisory firm AKF Partners. He was formerly chief operations officer at Quigo, an advertising technology startup sold to AOL, where he was responsible for product strategy, product management, technology development, and client services. Marty spent nearly six years at eBay, most recently as senior vice president of technology, chief technology officer, and member of the executive staff. Prior to his time at eBay, Marty held domestic and international engineering, management, and executive positions at Gateway and Motorola. He has served on the boards of directors of several private and public companies. Marty has a B.S. in computer science from the United States Military Academy, has an M.S. in computer engineering from the University of Florida, is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, and has a Doctor of Management from Case Western Reserve University. 

Michael T. Fisher is a founding partner at the growth and scalability advisory firm AKF Partners. Prior to cofounding AKF Partners, Michael was the chief technology officer at Quigo, a startup Internet advertising company that was acquired by AOL in 2007. Before his time at Quigo, Michael served as vice president, engineering & architecture, for PayPal, Inc., an eBay company. Prior to joining PayPal, he spent seven years at General Electric helping to develop the company’s technology strategy and was a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Michael served six years as a Captain and pilot in the U.S. Army. He received a Ph.D. and MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, an M.S. in information systems from Hawaii-Pacific University, and a B.S. in computer science from the United States Military Academy (West Point). Michael is an adjunct professor in the design & innovation department at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Reduce The Equation 
Chapter 2 - Distribute Your Work
Chapter 3 - Design to Scale Out Horizontally
Chapter 4 - Use The Right Tools
Chapter 5 - Get Out of Your Own Way
Chapter 6 - Use Caching Aggressively
Chapter 7 - Learn From Your Mistakes
Chapter 8 - Database Rules
Chapter 9 - Design for Fault Tolerance and Graceful Failure 
Chapter 10 - Avoid or Distribute State
Chapter 11 - Asynchronous Communication and Message Buses
Chapter 12 - Miscellaneous Rules 
Chapter 13 - Rule Review and Prioritization

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