Published Books


Complete Web Monitoring, O'Reilly (2010)Alistair and I didn’t think we’d write Complete Web Monitoring when we started writing this book.  It was originally entitled “Watching Websites” and had a much larger focus on infrastructure, device, code and back-end monitoring.  But O’Reilly wasn’t sold on the title, and many rounds of negotiations later, we settled on “Complete Web Monitoring”.  Realizing that we couldn’t be “complete” without talking about the big picture of web monitoring, what was originally pitched as 250 page became a 670 page manual on the A-Zs of implementing measurement in your organization.

This book covers everything from why, what and how to implement measurement in all departments within your web enabled organization.  We don’t just throw you head first into metrics, we try and show you why you’re doing what you’re doing, and make you aware of what others will likely need from you.  In other words, this book doesn’t just try to tackle how to implement measurement; it also tries to tackle how to implement a measurement culture.

More information can be found on O’Reilly’s site.  You can buy it from Amazon too.  The book is available in English, French, Russian and a few other languages,  and takes many forms, including eBook, kindle, and even video.

Book information:

Title: Complete Web Monitoring
By: Alistair Croll, Sean Power
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Formats: Print, Ebook, Safari Books Online
Print: June 2009
Ebook: June 2009
Pages: 672
Print ISBN:978-0-596-15513-1, ISBN 10: 0-596-15513-1
Ebook ISBN:978-0-596-80454-1, ISBN 10: 0-596-80454-7

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Web Operations, O'Reilly (2010)When Jesse and John asked us to write the analyics section of Web Operations, Alistair took it in stride but I was nervous.  Writing shoulder to shoulder with those that run infrastructure at Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Ebay and Etsy seemed pretty daunting to me.  It turned out to be extremely fun, and exactly what Complete Web Monitoring initially set out to be.  The section on analytics turned out to be a synopsis of everything that I learned while working with our clients at Coradiant.

Web operations covers everything you need to know to run and scale a web enabled business.  It covers infrastructure from A-Z in a very practical way.  I learn something new from each section I read, and I’ve often turned to some of the chapters as models to help startups scale.  I genuinely recommend this book to anyone in the CTO line.  Sure, I’m biased, but all proceeds for this book go to charity anyways.  It’s a solid read.

More information can be found on O’Reilly’s site.  You can buy it from Amazon too.

Book information:

Title: Web Operations
By: John Allspaw, Jesse Robbins
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Formats: Print, Ebook, Safari Books Online
Print: June 2010
Ebook: June 2010
Pages: 336
Print ISBN:978-1-4493-7744-1, ISBN 10: 1-4493-7744-0
Ebook ISBN:978-1-4493-7745-8, ISBN 10: 1-4493-7745-9

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Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls

When Scott Shinn told me that he’d be writing a book, I wasn’t suprised.  He’d just sold his company Plesk to SWSoft (which later acquired Parallels Inc and rebranded itself as such), and was in the process of building a secure linux distribution entitled Atomic Secured Linux.  Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls seemed like an easy side project for him to do.  When he asked me if I wanted to review the book to make sure he wasn’t saying anything stupid, I immediately agreed.  We spent three months and two complete reviews going through the book, concentrating specifically on the technical aspect of the book.  I made recommendations that would ultimately have to be approved by either Scott or Mike.  It was a great introduction to the world of publishing, and helped strengthen my iptables chops.

Today, the opening chapter on risk management and troubleshooting methodologies is still extremely relevant and shows no signs of aging.  I highly recommend skimming through the chapter; I still use many of the tricks found within to help me understand how and why things can go wrong with websites.

More information can be found on the Pearson site.  You can buy it from Amazon too.

Book information:

Title: Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls
By: Scott Shinn, Michael Shinn
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Formats: Print, Safari Online
Print: 2005
Pages: 384
Print ISBN:978-0-3212-2723-2, ISBN 10: 0-3212-2723-9