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Feedback Control for Computer Systems [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Philipp K. Janert

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19. November 2013
How can you take advantage of feedback control for enterprise programming? With this book, author Philipp K. Janert demonstrates how the same principles that govern cruise control in your car also apply to data center management and other enterprise systems. Through case studies and hands-on simulations, you’ll learn methods to solve several control issues, including mechanisms to spin up more servers automatically when web traffic spikes. Feedback is ideal for controlling large, complex systems, but its use in software engineering raises unique issues. This book provides basic theory and lots of practical advice for programmers with no previous background in feedback control.* Learn feedback concepts and controller design* Get practical techniques for implementing and tuning controllers* Use feedback “design patterns” for common control scenarios* Maintain a cache’s “hit rate” by automatically adjusting its size* Respond to web traffic by scaling server instances automatically* Explore ways to use feedback principles with queueing systems* Learn how to control memory consumption in a game engine* Take a deep dive into feedback control theory


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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Philipp K. Janert was born and raised in Germany. He obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Washington in 1997 and has been working in the tech industry since, including four years at, where he initiated and led several projects to improve Amazon's order fulfillment process. He is the author of two books on data analysis, including the best-selling "Data Analysis with Open Source Tools" (O'Reilly, 2010), and his writings have appeared on, IBM developerWorks, IEEE Software, and in the Linux Magazine. He has contributed to CPAN and other open-source projects. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  3 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book on a new software topic 4. Dezember 2013
Von David A. King - Veröffentlicht auf
If you write code for fun or for a livelihood, I recommend you check this book out.

According to the book, Feedback Control is a topic well known to mechanical engineers, but not so much in the software industry. Feedback Control is about making smarter systems that can cope with dynamic environments. Many knobs that developers build into configuration can actually be automated with feedback loops.

Examples given early in the book:
* A Cache by tracking hit rate and changing the cache size
* A Server Farm by tracking request latency and changing number of deployed server nodes
* A Queueing System by tracking wait time and changing the number of workers
* A Graphics Library by tracking memory consumption and changing the output resolution

The book is well written. It starts out with practical examples and working code. It later introduces the deep theory and drops some math bombs. Don't worry, there is Python code for everything and you don't have to understand the math.

It gives solid advice, like don't blindly use Feedback Control for optimization; optimization needs a higher level strategy guiding the process.

Lastly, there are references for further reading, if you do want to work through more of the theory.

The term Enterprise is thrown about, don't let this scare you away :) This is a valuable book for many types of software problems. A couple I've brainstormed while reading:
* Controlling difficulty of a video game, to react to how skilled a player is
* Controlling aspects of an animation
* Controlling polling of APIs for fresh data
* Driving load testing to find different scaling points (errors, high latency, etc)
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Feedback is the Organizing Principle for the Real-Time Economy 24. Dezember 2013
Von Michael H. Hugos - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I want to say one word... Just one word.,, Are you listening? * Feedback.*

I couldn't resist using that line from the movie "The Graduate". Just as plastics became central to the industrial economy of the last century; feedback is becoming central to the real-time economy of this century. Effective use of information technology to enable companies to harness the power of feedback is the highest calling of the IT professional in this century and this economy. Companies that learn to harness feedback to guide their operations will be big winners in our real-time economy.

Success in the real-time economy is about continuous response to change even more so than it is about being efficient. Efficiency is an Industrial age concept. Continuous response to change (while remaining efficient enough) is what we need to succeed in this age. That means feedback and understanding how to use feedback to guide and manage IT operations moment to moment.

Mr. Janert presents the concepts of feedback in a clear and detailed manner. The IT professional who wants to specialize in the fine art and discipline of operating data centers in the real-time economy needs to understand feedback and how to apply it to run IT operations moment to moment as the real-time world unfolds. Janert presents specific examples of applying the principles of feedback to the tasks involved in running data centers. He illustrates his examples with samples of code and as you work through the code exercises, you get a clear understanding of how to apply these principles.

The only reason I don't give this book a five star rating is that I wanted it to go beyond IT operations and show how feedback can also be applied to business operations. The same principles of feedback that govern the spin up of more virtual server instances in a cloud data center also apply to the order picking activity in a warehouse. The same principles of feedback that apply to the allocation of DRAM and storage space in a dynamic and unpredictable operations environment also apply to the allocation of money in a financial portfolio or the scheduling of delivery vehicles on a road network. IT pros need to appreciate this larger picture because it provides context to understand how IT and business operations can use feedback to work together in the real-time world.

This book is for the devoted and highly skilled IT ops professional and for those who aspire to be highly skilled IT ops professionals. If I was a CIO or IT Ops Director running a data center of any size, I would strongly encourage all of my staff to read this book.
5.0 von 5 Sternen I was doing PID for dynamic network flow control via software... This book explained the topic clearly 18. September 2014
Von Mike Liddell - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
If you have a coding situation that smells even a little bit like a PID controller would help then you should get this book to provide good explanation of how dynamic control behaves in software. Good solid actionable info and clear presentation.

Well done and thanks for filling a much needed segment of software fundamentals.
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