Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms

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Prentice Hall, 2002 - Computers - 803 pages

This book started out as a revision ofDistributed Operating Systems,but it was soon apparent that so much had changed since 1995, that a mere revision would not do the job. A whole new book was needed. Accordingly, this new book has a new title:Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms.This change reflects a shift in emphasis. While we still look at some operating systems issues, the book now addresses distributed systems in a broader sense as well. For example, the World Wide Web, which is arguably the biggest distributed system ever built, was not even mentioned in the original book because it is not an operating system. In this book it rates almost an entire chapter.

The book is structured in two parts: principles and paradigms. The first chapter is a general introduction to the subject. Then come seven chapters on individual principles we consider most important: communication, processes, naming, synchronization, consistency and replication, fault tolerance, and security.

Actual distributed systems are usually organized around some paradigm, such as "everything is a file." The next four chapters each deal with a different paradigm and describe several key systems that use that paradigm. The paradigms covered are object-based systems, distributed file systems, document-based systems, and coordination-based systems.

The last chapter contains an annotated bibliography, which can be used as a starting point for additional study of this subject, and the list of works cited in this book.

The book is intended for a senior-level or a graduate course in computer science. Consequently, it has a website with PowerPoint sheets and the figures used in the book in various formats. The website can be located starting fromwww.prenhall.com/tanenbaumand clicking on the title of this book. A manual with solutions to the exercises is available to professors using the book in a course. They should contact their Prentice Hall representative for a copy. Of course, the book is also well-suited for individuals outside of a university setting wishing to learn more about this important topic.

A number of people have contributed to this book in various ways. We would especially like to thank Arno Bakker, Gerco Ballintijn, Brent Callaghan, Scott Cannon, Sandra Cornelissen, Mike Dahlin, Mark Derbyshire, Guy Eddory, Amr el Abbadi, Vincent Freely Chandana Gamage, Ben Gras, Bob Gray, Michael van Hartskamp, Philip Homburg, Jeroen Ketema, Andrew Kitchen, Ladislav Kohout, Bob Kutter, Jussipekka Leiwo, Leah McTaggert, Eli Messenger, Donald Miller, Shivakant Mishra, Jim Mooney, Matt Mutka, Rob Pike, Krithi Ramamritham, Shmuel Rotenstreich, Sol Shatz, Gurdip Singly Aditya Shivram, Vladimir Sukonnik, Boleslaw Szymanski, Laurent Therond, and Leendert van Doom for reading parts of the manuscript and offering useful comments.

Finally, we would like to thank our families. Suzanne has been through this process an even dozen times now. Not once has she said: "Enough is enough" although surely the thought has occurred to her. Thank you. Barbara and Marvin now have a much better idea of what professors do for a living and know the difference between a good textbook and a bad one. They are now an inspiration to me to try to produce more good ones than bad ones (AST).

Marielle knew what she was in for when I told her I was in the book-writing business again. She has been supportive from the start, noticing also that there was more fun and less frustration for me than the last time ("Are you writing chapters only once this time?"). Having Elke on your lap at 6 o'clock in the morning while writing is not such a good idea, but it kept me focused on correctly setting priorities. In that respect, Max did a wonderful job as well, but being older than Elke, he also knew when it was better to play with someone else. They are great kids (MvS).

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About the author (2002)

Andrew S. Tanenbaum has an S.B. degree from M.LT. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a Professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he is head of the Computer Systems Department. He is also the Dean of the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging, an interuniversity graduate school doing research on advanced parallel, distributed, and imaging systems. Nevertheless, he is trying very hard to avoid turning into a bureaucrat.

In the past, he has done research on compilers, operating systems, networking, and local-area distributed systems. His current research focuses primarily on the design of wide-area distributed systems that scale to a billion users. This research is being done together with Dr. Maarten van Steen. Together, all his research projects have led to over 90 refereed papers in journals and conference proceedings and five books.

Prof. Tanenbaum has also produced a considerable volume of software. He was the principal architect of the Amsterdam Compiler Kit, a widely-used toolkit for writing portable compilers, as well as of MINIX, a small UNIX clone intended for use in student programming labs. Together with his Ph.D. students and programmers, he helped design the Amoeba distributed operating system, a high-performance microkernel-based distributed operating system. The MINIX and Amoeba systems are now available for free via the Internet.

His Ph.D. students have gone on to greater glory after getting their degrees. He is very proud of them. In this respect he resembles a mother hen.

Prof. Tanenbaum is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of the 1994 ACM Karl V Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, and winner of the 1997 ACM/SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education. He is also listed in Who's Who in the World. His home page on the World Wide Web can be found at URL http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/.

Maarten van Steen is currently an associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam where he teaches operating systems, computer networks, and distributed systems. He has also given various highly successful courses on computer systems related subjects to ICT professionals from industry and governmental organizations.

Dr. van Steen studied Applied Mathematics at Twente University and received a Ph.D. from Leiden University in the field of software design techniques for concurrent systems. After his graduate studies he went to work for an industrial research laboratory where he eventually became head of the Computer Systems Group, concentrating on programming support for parallel applications.

After five years of struggling to simultaneously do research and management, he decided to return to academia, first as an assistant professor in Computer Science at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and later as an assistant professor in Andrew Tanenbaum's group at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Going back to university was the right decision; his wife thinks so too.

His current research concentrates on large-scale wide-area distributed systems, with an emphasis on locating mobile objects, system architecture, and adaptive distribution and replication. Together with prof. Tanenbaum he leads the Globe project in which a group of approximately a dozen researchers collaborate to develop a wide-area distributed system by the same name. The Globe system is described at http://www.cs.vu.nl/globe.

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