Distributed Systems

George Coulouris / Jean Dollimore / Tim Kindberg / Gordon Blair  
Total pages
July 2011
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Distributed Systems
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Broad and up-to-date coverage of the principles and practice in the fast moving area of Distributed Systems.
Distributed Systems provides students of computer science and engineering with the skills they will need to design and maintain software for distributed applications. It will also be invaluable to software engineers and systems designers wishing to understand new and future developments in the field.
From mobile phones to the Internet, our lives depend increasingly on distributed systems linking computers and other devices together in a seamless and transparent way. The fifth edition of this best-selling text continues to provide a comprehensive source of material on the principles and practice of distributed computer systems and the exciting new developments based on them, using a wealth of modern case studies to illustrate their design and development. The depth of coverage will enable students to evaluate existing distributed systems and design new ones.


  • Provides an understanding of the principles on which the Internet and other distributed systems are based, their architecture, algorithms and design and how they meet the demands of contemporary distributed applications.
  • Broad and up-to-date coverage of the principles and practice in the fast moving area of Distributed Systems.
  • Includes the key issues in the debate between components and web services as the way forward for industry.
  • The depth of coverage will enable students to evaluate existing distributed systems and design new ones.
  • Incorporates and anticipates the major developments in distributed systems technology.
  • Case studies illustrate the design concepts for each major topic.
  • New to this Edition

  • Significant changes made in the earlier (foundational) chapters of the book in recognition of the increasing diversity of distributed systems — particularly in terms of the range of architectural approaches available to distributed systems developers today.
  • Three entirely new chapters:
    • Chapter 6 Indirect Communication: Includes events and notification from 4th ed.
    • Chapter 8 Distributed Objects and Components: Includes precised version of the CORBA case study from 4th ed.
    • Chapter 21 Designing Distributed Systems: Includes major new case study on Google
  • Substantial changes to a number of other chapters include:
    • Chapter 1 Characterization of DS: Significant restructuring of material: New section 1.2: Examples of dist. systems; Section 1.2.2: Cloud computing introduced
    • Chapter 2 System Models: Significant restructuring of material: New Section 2.2: Physical models; Section 2.3: major re-write to reflect new book content and associated architectural perspectives
    • Chapter 4 Interprocess Communication: Several updates: Client-server comm. moved to Chapter 5; New Section 4.5: Network virtualization (includes case study on Skype); New Section 4.6: Case Study on MPI; Case study on IPC in UNIX removed
    • Chapter 5Remote Invocation: Significant restructuring of materia:l Client-server comm. moved to here; Progression introduced from client-server communication through RPC to RMI; Events and notification moved to Chapter 6
  • Many of the chapters have been changed to reflect new information that has become available about the systems described.
  • The authors have placed material removed from the fourth edition, as well as material removed from previous editions, on the book's Companion web site. This includes the case studies on ATM, inter-process communication in UNIX, CORBA (a shortened version of this case study remains in Chapter 8), the Jini distributed events specification, the chapter on distributed shared memory (a brief summary of this area is included in Chapter 6),and the case study of Grid middleware (featuring OGSA and the Globus toolkit).
  • Table of Contents

    1 Characterization of DS
    2 System Models
    3 Networking and Internetworking
    4 Interprocess Communication
    5 Remote Invocation
    6 Indirect Communication
    7 Operating System Support

    8 Dist. Objects and Components
    9 Web Services
    10Peer-to-Peer Systems

    System services
    11 Security
    12 Distributed File Systems
    13 Name Services

    Distributed algorithms
    14 Time and Global States
    15 Coordination and Agreement

    Shared data
    16 Transactions and Concurrency Control
    17 Distributed Transactions
    18 Replication

    New challenges
    19 Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing
    20 Distributed Multimedia Systems

    Substantial Case Study

    21 Designing Distributed Systems: Google Case Study

    Reader Review(s)

    "To my knowledge, this is the only timely book on distributed systems. Other books are quickly becoming outdated." Karl-Johan Grinnemo, Karlstad Universitet, Sweden

    Instructor Resources