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Release It! Second Edition: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software


Cover image for Release It! Second Edition

Release It! Second Edition

Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software


A single dramatic software failure can cost a company millions of dollars—but can be avoided with simple changes to design and architecture. This new edition of the best-selling industry standard shows you how to create systems that run longer, with fewer failures, and recover better when bad things happen. New coverage includes DevOps, microservices, and cloud-native architecture. Stability antipatterns have grown to include systemic problems in large-scale systems. This is a must-have pragmatic guide to engineering for production systems.

Customer Reviews

Mike is one of the software industry’s deepest thinkers and clearest communicators.
As beautifully written as the original, the second edition of Release It! extends
the first with modern techniques—most notably continuous deployment, cloud
infrastructure, and chaos engineering—that will help us all build and operate
large-scale software systems.

- Randy Shoup

VP Engineering, Stitch Fix

If you are putting any kind of system into production, this is the single most important
book you should keep by your side. The author’s enormous experience
in the area is captured in an easy-to-read, but still very intense, way. In this updated
edition, the new ways of developing, orchestrating, securing, and deploying
real-world services to different fabrics are well explained in the context of the core
resiliency patterns.

- Michael Hunger

Director of Developer Relations Engineering, Neo4j, Inc.

So much ground is covered here: patterns and antipatterns for application resilience,
security, operations, architecture. That breadth would be great in itself,
but there’s tons of depth too. Don’t just read this book—study it.

- Colin Jones

CTO and Author of "Mastering Clojure Macros", 8th Light

Release It! is required reading for anyone who wants to run software to production
and still sleep at night. It will help you build with confidence and learn to expect
and embrace system failure.

- Matthew White

Author of "Deliver Audacious Web Apps with Ember 2"

I would recommend this book to anyone working on a professional software project.
Given that this edition has been fully updated to cover technologies and topics
that are dealt with daily, I would expect everyone on my team to have a copy of
this book to gain awareness of the breadth of topics that must be accounted for
in modern-day software development.

- Andy Keffalas

Software Engineer/Team Lead

A must-read for anyone wanting to build truly robust, scalable systems.

- Peter Wood

Software Programmer

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Contents & Extracts

  • Introduction excerpt
  • Create Stability
    • Case Study: The Exception That Grounded an Airline
      • The Change Window
      • The Outage
      • Consequences
      • Postmortem
      • Hunting for Clues
      • The Smoking Gun
      • An Ounce of Prevention?
    • Stabilize Your System
      • Defining Stability
      • Extending Your Life Span
      • Failure Modes
      • Stopping Crack Propagation
      • Chain of Failure
      • Wrapping Up
    • Stability Antipatterns excerpt
      • Integration Points
      • Chain Reactions
      • Cascading Failures
      • Users
      • Blocked Threads
      • Self-Denial Attacks
      • Scaling Effects
      • Unbalanced Capacities
      • Dogpile
      • Force Multiplier
      • Slow Responses
      • Unbounded Result Sets
      • Wrapping Up
    • Stability Patterns
      • Timeouts
      • Circuit Breaker
      • Bulkheads
      • Steady State
      • Fail Fast
      • Let It Crash
      • Handshaking
      • Test Harnesses
      • Decoupling Middleware
      • Shed Load
      • Create Back Pressure
      • Governor
      • Wrapping Up
  • Design for Production
    • Case Study: Phenomenal Cosmic Powers, Itty-Bitty Living Space
      • Baby’s First Christmas
      • Taking the Pulse
      • Thanksgiving Day
      • Black Friday
      • Vital Signs
      • Diagnostic Tests
      • Call In a Specialist
      • Compare Treatment Options
      • Does the Condition Respond to Treatment?
      • Winding Down
    • Foundations
      • Networking in the Data Center and the Cloud
      • Physical Hosts, Virtual Machines, and Containers excerpt
      • Wrapping Up
    • Processes on Machines
      • Code
      • Configuration
      • Transparency
      • Wrapping Up
    • Interconnect
      • Solutions at Different Scales
      • DNS
      • Load Balancing
      • Demand Control
      • Network Routing
      • Discovering Services
      • Migratory Virtual IP Addresses
      • Wrapping Up
    • Control Plane
      • How Much Is Right for You?
      • Mechanical Advantage
      • Platform and Ecosystem
      • Development Is Production
      • System-Wide Transparency
      • Configuration Services
      • Provisioning and Deployment Services
      • Command and Control
      • The Platform Players
      • The Shopping List
      • Wrapping Up
    • Security
      • The OWASP Top 10
      • The Principle of Least Privilege excerpt
      • Configured Passwords
      • Security as an Ongoing Process
      • Wrapping Up
  • Deliver Your System
    • Case Study: Waiting for Godot
    • Design for Deployment
      • So Many Machines
      • The Fallacy of Planned Downtime
      • Automated Deployments
      • Continuous Deployment
      • Phases of Deployment
      • Deploy Like the Pros
      • Wrapping Up
    • Handling Versions
      • Help Others Handle Your Versions
      • Handle Others’ Versions
      • Wrapping Up
  • Solve Systemic Problems
    • Case Study: Trampled by Your Own Customers
      • Countdown and Launch
      • Aiming for Quality Assurance
      • Load Testing
      • Murder by the Masses
      • The Testing Gap
      • Aftermath
    • Adaptation
      • Convex Returns
      • Process and Organization
      • System Architecture
      • Information Architecture
      • Wrapping Up
    • Chaos Engineering
      • Breaking Things to Make Them Better
      • Antecedents of Chaos Engineering
      • The Simian Army
      • Adopting Your Own Monkey
      • Disaster Simulations
      • Wrapping Up


Michael Nygard has been a professional programmer and architect for more than 15 years. He has delivered running systems to the U.S. government and to the banking, finance, agriculture, and retail industries. Michael is a popular speaker at technical conferences, and has written and co-authored several books, including 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know and the best-selling first edition of this book.