The Art of Capacity Planning

I’m really excited about John Allspaw’s forthcoming book, The Art of Capacity Planning (available in as-it-is-being-written form on O’Reilly’s Safari Rough Cuts with an estimated publication Johndate of October 15, 2008). To put it mildly, John is a rock star (literally!) and anyone who spends any time making web sites run should reserve a space on your bookshelf for this one. I’ve been a direct beneficiary of his knowledge in the last two companies I worked for before Yahoo, and now as a colleague at Yahoo, where John runs ops for Flickr. Here’s how John describes his book and his approach in the preface:

This book is not about building complex models and simulations. It’s not about spending time running benchmarks over and over.

It’s about practical capacity planning and management that can happen in a real world. It’s about using real tools and being able to adapt to changing usage on a website that will (hopefully) grow over time. When you get a flat tire on the highway, you could spend a lot of time trying to figure out what popped your tire, or you can get on with it, pop on the spare, and keep on going.

That is the approach to capacity planning that I’m suggesting: adaptive, not theoretical.

Having been in the trenches with John on a number of occasions, I can vouch for his approach. I’m reading the early chapters now and look forward to the rest.

As a related aside, John just gave a talk at the Velocity conference that you should check out: Capacity Management for Web Operations.

(Photo of John by me in July 2005)