Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms

Andrew S. Tanenbaum / Maarten van Steen  
Total pages
July 2013
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Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms


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For courses on Distributed Systems, Distributed Operating Systems, and Advanced Operating Systems focusing on distributed systems, found in departments of Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

In this text, esteemed authors Tanenbaum and van Steen provide full coverage of the field in a systematic way that can be readily used for teaching. This text examines the underlying principles – and their applications to a wide variety of practical distributed systems.


• First part of the book dedicates one chapter to each of seven key principles of all distributed systems: communication, processes, naming, synchronisation, consistency and replication, fault tolerance, and security.

– Gives students an understanding of the key principles, paradigms, and models on which all distributed systems are based.

• Second part of the book devoted to real-world distributed case studies:

– Includes examples of object-based, document-based, file-based, and coordination-based systems including Corba, DCOM, Globe, NFS v4, Coda, WWW, and Jini.

– Because Part II is organised along the same seven key principles that are discussed in the first part, students not only learn how state-of-the-art real-world systems and middleware work, but are also able to compare the different systems easily.

Numerous end-of-chapter exercises – Explain how the various principles of distributed systems work in practice.

“Big picture” concepts and many technical details:

– Presented in the clear, entertaining style unique to Tanenbaum and van Steen.

– Helps students learn the foundation of distributed operating systems and how things work in the real world.

Excellent coverage of timely, advanced distributed systems topics – Examines security, payment systems, recent Internet and Web protocols, scalability, and caching and replication.

New to this Edition

A completely new chapter on architecture added to address the principle of organizing distributed systems:

– Covers the logical organization into software components along the lines of architectural styles (layers, object-orientation, event orientation, and data orientation)

– Discusses the physical organization of distributed systems, addressing issues such as client/server systems and peer-to-peer systems

– Interweaves the two types of organization by examining self-managing distributed systems, which form an important part of what are known as autonomic systems.

Extensive new material on peer-to-peer systems:

– Discusses structured as well as unstructured peer-to-peer systems

– Explains how they work and how they are being applied to solve challenging problems in various domains, in various sections throughout.

New material on Grid computing and Web services:

– Reflects the emergence of this increasingly important type of distributed system in the form of large-scale computing and information systems, which are often deployed across the Internet.

– Web-based systems, including Web services, are treated more thoroughly in this revision.

New material on virtualization:

– Reflects the growing importance of virtual machines as a component of distributed systems

– Adds a separate section discussing different forms of virtualization and how it is applied in practical settings.

Addition of application-level multicasting:

– Adds a separate section on how (large scale) group communication can be set up in a decentralized fashion, using structured as well as unstructured peer-to-peer systems.

Improved material on clock synchronization – Now addresses clock synchronization in very large systems, and updates the material with a description of GPS systems (relates directly to GPS-based services that students use in practice).

Updated material on data-centric consistency:

– Removes models that are exclusively used only in distributed shared memory systems

– Adds simpler models on continuous consistency, which is more applicable to modern distributed information systems.

Updated chapter on object-based distributed systems:

– Now takes examples from existing systems for each principle separately

– Not only provides better illustrations of those principles, but makes the material more attractive for students to learn and for instructors to teach.

Updated chapters on file systems and Web systems coordination.

Deleted information on:

– distributed garbage collection

– distributed shared memory

– lotus notes as case

– a number of specific distributed algorithms.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Architectures
  • 3 Processess
  • 4 Communication
  • 5 Naming
  • 6 Synchronization
  • 7 Consistency and replication
  • 8 Fault tolerance
  • 9 Security
  • 10 Distributed object-based systems
  • 11 Distributed file systems
  • 12 Distributed web-based systems
  • 13 Distributed coordination-based
  • Index