Distributed Systems for practitioners
Last updated on 2019-08-21
About the Book
Distributed systems are everywhere nowadays, from the chat applications we use to communicate with our friends to the online stores we use for our shopping. However, distributed systems are by nature complicated. In order to design and build a distributed system that will work properly, one has to understand a lot of different concepts and nuances and the literature of distributed systems can be quite big and chaotic at times.
This book makes an effort to collate the basic principles, algorithms and protocols in the field of distributed systems. It introduces the basic problems that are inherent in distributed systems, the main approaches to tackle them and any associated complications one needs to keep in mind. You will have the chance to get an overview of the seminal papers in the field, while also understanding how the associated algorithms and protocols can be used in real life. As implied by the title, the goal of this book is to maintain a practical perspective, by explaining algorithms in the simplest terms possible and demonstrating how implementations of them can be used in real systems.
Who is this book for
This book is aimed at software engineers that have some experience in building software systems and have no or some experience in distributed systems. It assumes no knowledge around concepts and algorithms for distributed systems. This book attempts to gradually introduce the terms and explain the basic algorithms in the simplest way possible, providing diagrams and examples. However, this book does not aim to make a full analysis of every single algorithm and provides the necessary references to the original papers, so that the reader can study in more depth the parts of interest.
Following the lean publishing philosophy, this book is a work in progress and new content might be added from time to time, according to the needs and the feedback of the readers. As new content is added, the price of the book might go up, but whoever has already purchased the book will get the updates for free through Leanpub. For more details on how this works, follow the resources below:
What is a distributed system and why you need it
The fallacies of distributed computing
Why distributed systems are hard
Correctness in distributed systems
The tale of exactly-once semantics
Failure in the world of distributed systems
Stateful and Stateless systems
Basic concepts and theorems
Algorithms for horizontal partitioning
Quorums in distributed systems
Safety guarantees in distributed systems
The CAP Theorem
Consistency and Isolation - Differences and Similarities
Why all the formalities
What is a distributed transaction
Snapshot Isolation via MVCC
2-phase commit (2PC)
3-phase commit (3PC)
A quorum-based commit protocol
How it all fits together
Long-lived transactions & Sagas
Some use-cases of consensus
The Paxos algorithm
Intricacies of Paxos
Paxos in real-life
Replicated state machine via consensus
Distributed transactions via consensus
Standing on the shoulders of giants
What is different in a distributed system
A practical perspective
A theoretical perspective
Total and partial ordering
The concept of causality
Version vectors & Dotted version vectors
Physical & Logical time: closing thoughts
A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.
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