Review - Software Performance and Scalability

Since i began work on my own scalability book, i thought i should do some extra reading on the subject. I picked up a few books on scalability and the first one i read was Software Performance and Scalability: A Quantitative Approach by Henry Liu. In summary I think it is a solid book, offering a lot of good ideas and quite an interesting approach to scalability (through maths!). It is not an easy read, but i think the unique approach makes it really worthwhile.

The thing i like about the book the most was good structure and interesting perspective. Book was much more hardware and maths focused than i would ever imagine but i think it was a good think as it presented scalability from a totally different perspective than i am trying to do in my own book (work in progress).

Book goes deep into queue theory (too deep for me to be honest) and focuses a lot on performance measurement, modeling and prognosis. Author is clearly very passionate about hardware, service engineering and physical side of the scalability.

The only thing that i did not like about the book were the final sub-chapters focusing on performance profiling using custom tools and framework. I guess if i was working in the same technology as author i could benefit from it more but it was mostly irrelevant to me as i would use different tools to profile my application. It was not a major flaw though, i think it still could be interesting for someone who never thought about profiling in much detail.

I think Software Performance and Scalability delivers pretty good value and i would be happy to recommend it to people interested in lower level mechanics of software and more mathematical modeling of performance. Book could touch more on scalability but it was a good read any way.

Final score: 8/10


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Artur Ejsmont

Hi, my name is Artur Ejsmont,
welcome to my blog. I am a passionate software engineer living in Sydney and working for Yahoo!

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