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Navigator's Guide: Preface

PostedMarch 31, 2018 3.3k views DigitalOcean Articles

Note: This is an early release version of the contents of the Navigator's Guide book, an offering from the DigitalOcean Solutions Engineers. The goal of the book is to help business customers plan their infrastructure needs, provide working examples along the way, and include technical nuance and the "why" that makes some decisions better than others.

The book and accompanying code will be publicly available in a GitHub repository. Because this is an early release, the book is not yet complete and the repository is not yet public, but stay tuned!

How do I scale and grow my infrastructure for my business?

More importantly, how do I prevent a crisis? How do I know what my decisions will also impact? Am I asking the right questions?

This book will help answer questions, but also help with the background information needed when making decisions that impact your business's infrastructure.

Despite the complicated realities of modern computers, it is possible to build an infrastructure that delivers on the promises of cloud computing. By the end of this book, you'll understand how.

Who Is This Book For?

This book is intended for anyone thinking about or facing issues with scaling and growing their infrastructure, and anyone who wants to understand how to build infrastructure for production use.

The main skill set you'll need to follow along is some familiarity with the Linux command line, but each chapter includes code examples, and many of the key takeaways will be framed at a high level and easy to apply conceptually as well.

The accompanying repository deploys this book's sample infrastructure to give you a hands-on starting point as you follow along, and the corresponding chapters have comprehensive technical explanations so you'll understand what you're doing and why you're doing it each step of the way.

What Will You Learn From This Book?

This book will give you both the conceptual understanding and the practical skills to build a successful infrastructure on DigitalOcean. We based our recommendations on the real world problems that our customers encountered and that we helped them solve.

(Want to know more about DigitalOcean and the authors of this book? That's in the next chapter. This chapter is about you.)

Our goal is for you to be able to make sure your infrastructure stays online reliably and scales out easily, your data is secure, and any problems are easy to troubleshoot.

We outline infrastructure best practices and, just as importantly, we explain why those practices prevent pain points and issues. Understanding the "why" will empower you to make the right decisions for your use case.

Then, because you'll understand how everything works, you'll have the knowledge to adapt our example infrastructure for your own needs or build your own from scratch.

How Should You Use This Book?

This book is broken into five parts with a few chapters each, plus this introduction and a conclusion. You can see the structure in the table of contents on the previous page.

Parts 2 through 5 are the meat of the book. That's where we'll teach you how to prevent downtime, scale your infrastructure, keep your data safe, make it easy to troubleshoot issues, identify performance bottlenecks, and stay protected from security threats.

Before we do that, we want to make sure that everyone starts with the same foundation. That's what Part 1, Background and Setup, is for. It consists of the first three chapters of the book. Chapter 1 gives some background on DigitalOcean and us, the authors. Chapter 2 covers the problems we see businesses encounter with cloud computing and our solutions to them (i.e. a more detailed overview of Parts 2 through 5). Chapter 3 walks you through the tools we'll use to build the infrastructure described in this book, and how to get your environment set up to follow along.

This book is an open-source project and is available in its entirety in this repository. The book directory contains the Markdown for the written chapters of the book, which we use with the Gitbook Toolchain to generate the book itself. The example-code directory includes all the code examples you'll use to follow along.

Let's Get Started!

We wrote this book with a single narrative in mind, which means it flows naturally if you read it linearly from start to finish. However, we kept each section as modular as possible, so if you're already familiar with the concepts covered in a particular chapter, you can skim it or just skip to the next one.

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