John Allspaw

John Allspaw

Web operations enthusiast, capacity planner, author

John Allspaw John has worked in systems operations for over fourteen years in biotech, government and online media. 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 infrastructures at Salon, InfoWorld, Friendster, and Flickr. He is now SVP of Tech Operations at Etsy, and is the author of The Art of Capacity Planning and Web Operations published by O'Reilly.

Web Operations Web Operations
by John Allspaw, Jesse Robbins
June 2010
Print: $39.99
Ebook: $35.99

The Art of Capacity Planning The Art of Capacity Planning
by John Allspaw
September 2008
Print: $44.99
Ebook: $35.99

John blogs at:


How Shazam predicts pop hits

May 22 2015

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast to track the technologies and people that will shape our world in the years to come. In this week’s Radar Podcast, I chat with Cait O’Riordan, VP of product, music and platforms at Shazam. … read more

How Shazam predicts pop hits

May 22 2015

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast to track the technologies and people that will shape our world in the years to come. In this week’s Radar Podcast, I chat with Cait O’Riordan, VP of product, music and platforms at Shazam. … read more

Photo-Development Challenge Results #2: Statues

May 22 2015

It's been three months to the day since I posted "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation", and I'm mortified that it's only the second set of results that I'm finally getting around to sharing (the first having been "Hillside Temple Buildings" 2½ months ago). In retrospect,… read more

Ask the Readers: Will higher interest rates make you save more money?

May 22 2015

This article is by editor Linda Vergon. Interest rates are expected to rise later in 2015. What will you do with this information? You could make the case that you haven’t missed much if you didn’t keep your money in a savings account over the last few years. But still,… read more

Four short links: 22 May 2015

May 22 2015

GM: That Car You Bought, We’re Really the Ones Who Own It — GM’s claim is all about copyright and software code, and it’s the same claim John Deere is making about their tractors. The TL;DR version of the argument … read more

An Open Letter To Monitoring/Metrics/Alerting Companies

May 01 2015

I’d like to open up a dialogue with companies who are selling X-As-A-Service products that are focused on assisting operations and development teams in tracking the health and performance of their software systems. Note: It’s likely that my suggestions below are understood and embraced by many companies already. I know… read more

Webcast: Business Success and the Speed of Learning
February 11, 2015
In this webcast, John Allspaw explains how organizations can become more successful by studying their successes and demonstrates how we can all become more effective by examining our assumptions.

Webcast: Velocity 2011: Take-aways, Trends, and Highlights
June 24, 2011
The web performance and operations community gathered for three days at Velocity Conference in Santa Clara, California. In this webcast following the conference, program chairs Steve Souders and John Allspaw will identify and discuss key trends and announcements...

"As you embark on managing your company’s web site and applications, this book can be your guide. Although DBAs perform many similar tasks (monitoring, backup, designing for scalability, etc.), the details are decidedly different for web operations. If you’re charged with managing web operations for your company, use this book to help guide you through the morass."
--Craig S. Mullins, Data and Technology Today

"This book is about the practical capacity planning and management, about using tools, and being able to adapt to changing usage on a website that will grow. "
--Nadia Russ, Wonderpedia

"I can definitely say that I am a better software engineer after reading this book."
--Jon LeBlanc, Senior Software Engineer, Yahoo! Developer Network Blog

"John Allspaw's Art of Capacity Planning is useful right out of the gate, an incredibly practical deep-dive into what makes the web work and scale from someone who is on the front lines every day. Whether you're learning about the importance of understanding procurement processes in your organization or the specific methods you need to plan successfully, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to know how to build the next Flickr. "
--Chad Dickerson, CTO of Etsy, former CTO of Salon.com & InfoWorld.com and head of Yahoo! Developer Network & Brickhouse

"John Allspaw understands capacity planning as Michael Phelps understands swimming. The Art of Capacity Planning distills his knowledge for you into its most practical essence: the process everyone should follow when managing production infrastructures."
--Adam Jacob, Founder and Senior Partner at HJK Solutions, a consulting firm for building automation platforms