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Capacity Planning for Web Operations

Focus on Web Operations
Location: 2010 Level: Intermediate

Capacity planning for growth is not a new concept in web operations, but planning for the explosive and unpredictable types of growth that social applications experience is a whole new ballgame.

This talk will take a look at new and different approaches to capacity planning, and how we do it at Flickr. John Allspaw will cover real-world challenges and lessons learned, on the following areas:

Measurement:
Planning used to be driven only by server statistics and gut feelings. Social metrics also need to be taken into account as well as world events that could effect the community in unexpected ways.

Architecture:
Making your application scalable isn’t the end of the story. Being capable of deploying capacity quickly isn’t an option, it’s a requirement.

Economics:
Purchasing and deploying capacity too late can result in frustrated users and a stressed infrastructure. Deploying it too early can waste time and money.

Photo of John Allspaw

John Allspaw

Adaptive Capacity Labs

John Allspaw has worked in software systems engineering and operations for twenty years in many different environments: biotech, government, online media, social networking, and e-commerce. He started out tuning parallel clusters running vehicle crash simulations for the U.S. government, and then moved on to the Internet in 1997. He built the backing infrastructure at Salon.com, InfoWorld.com, Friendster, and Flickr, and Etsy. He served as SVP of Engineering and then Chief Technology Officer at Etsy, and holds an MSc in Human Factors and Systems Safety from Lund University.