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Read the (very) rough draft of our new book!

Safari Books now has the (very) rough draft of The Practice of Cloud System Administration online and available to anyone with an account. This book is all new material.

How rough is rough? Well, the diagrams are the hand-drawn sketches that will eventually be turned into nicely drawn diagrams. The copyediting hasn't been done yet. There's probably a few other things missing.

If you don't have a Safari Books Online account you'll be able to look at the Table of Contents and other materials. With an account, you'll be able to read the entire thing.

The final release date will be mid-September. You can pre-order it on Amazon right now!

Here's the text of the back cover:

The Practice of Cloud System Administration, Volume 2, focuses on "distributed" or "cloud" computing and brings a DevOps/SRE sensibility to the practice of system administration. Unsatisfied with books that cover either design or operations in isolation, the authors created this authoritative reference centered on a comprehensive approach.

Case studies and examples from Google, Etsy, Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, and other industry giants are explained in practical ways that are useful to all enterprises. The new companion to the best-selling first volume, The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition, this guide offers expert coverage of the following and many other crucial topics:

DESIGNING and building modern web and distributed systems

  • Fundamentals of large system design
  • Understanding the new software engineering implications of cloud administration
  • Making systems that are resilient to failure and grow and scale dynamically
  • Implementing DevOps principles and cultural changes
  • IaaS/PaaS/SaaS and virtual platform selection

OPERATING and running systems using the latest DevOps/SRE strategies

  • Upgrading production systems with zero down-time
  • What and how to automate; how to decide what not to automate
  • On-call best practices that improve uptime
  • Why distributed systems require fundamentally different system administration techniques
  • Identifying and resolving resiliency problems before they surprise you

ASSESSING and evaluating your team's operational effectiveness

  • Driving improvement through a scientific process of continuous improvement
  • A 40+-page, pain-free assessment system you can start using today

About the authors:

Thomas A. Limoncelli is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and system administrator with more than twenty years of experience at companies like Google, Bell Labs, and

Strata R. Chalup has more than twenty-five years of experience in Silicon Valley, focusing on IT strategy, best-practices, and scalable infrastructures at firms that include Apple, Sun, Cisco, McAfee, and Palm.

Christina J. Hogan has more than twenty years of experience in system administration and network engineering, from Silicon Valley to Italy and Switzerland. She has a master's degree in computer science, a doctorate in aeronautical engineering, and has been part of a Formula 1 racing team.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Book News

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I've been reading through the draft and it looks really good!

However, you got on my pet peeves when calling the term non-functional requirements insulting and wrong. I can see why you would think it misleading. But, it seems to me that you have not bothered to find a definition of non-functional requirements.

If you look at a book about software architecture (like software architecture in practice, by Bass, Clements and Kazman), you will find that non-functionals are, by definition, essential. They are what defines the structure of a software system.

So to claim that non-functional implies that these features do not have a function is about as sane to me as claiming Operational Requirements implies that they are the sole responsibility of the operator.

But, all in all, a very promising preview.


That's excellent feedback.

By "insulting" we mean that people often misunderstand the term and think "non-functional" means something bad (i.e. it doesn't work) or that it has no value.

We have a few days left to make textual changes before we go to press. Can you suggest a better word than "insulting"?