7–9 November 2016: Conference & Tutorials
9–10 November 2016: Training
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The mathematics of reliability

11:50–12:30 Monday, 7/11/2016
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 9 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Basic familiarity with web systems architecture and high-school-level statistics

What you'll learn

  • Learn why mathematical modeling is important to understand the reliability aspects of systems


We often hear talks on scale and reliability, mostly based on personal experience and lessons learned. Avishai Ish-Shalom asks what mathematics tells us about reliability and scale. Can math help us scale our systems and companies? It turns out that failure models, probability, statistics, and other domains can help our analysis and provide useful insights

Mathematics forces us to rigorously construct and analyze our models, often exposing subtle issues and misconceptions; moreover, it allows us to expand our understanding and explore the consequences of scale and stress without actually building a system.

Avishai shares a simple failure model, explains the math behind common practices, shows common misconceptions, introduces emergent system properties, and showcases mathematical examples of why things behave differently at scale and how things that work well in small systems can be horrible at scale.

Photo of Avishai Ish-Shalom

Avishai Ish-Shalom


Avishai Ish-Shalom is a cofounder of Fewbytes, an Israel-based consultancy firm, with almost a decade of experience in IT systems and web operations. Avishai is an open source enthusiast and a complete automation geek. As a consultant, Avishai helps startups and enterprises build better systems and embrace the DevOps spirit.