Introduction to Distributed Systems


Theoretical Foundations of message passing, process networks, server processing models and I/O models

Sockets based Client/Server Systems and I/O Models, Delivery Guarantees and Request Ordering in reliable broadcasts

Remote calling principles - RPC basics and helpful middleware like thrift or gRPC

Distributed Objects - Lessons learned from a failed concept.

Distributed Business Components and Frameworks

Web Services, Service Oriented Architecture, REST and Microservices

Concepts and Theorems of Distributed Systems

Distributed OS Components and Algorithms Part One

Distributed OS Components and Algorithms Part Two, Persistence, Transactions and Replication

Distributed Security - Basics (if needed)

Distributed Security Part Two, Mechanisms and Architecture (Secure Delegation, SSO, Backend Security,

Distributed Systems Management, from Components to Managed Resources. Fault tolerance, Resilience Patterns

Designing Distributed Systems, Fan-out Architecture, replication etc.

Peer-to-peer Systems, tales from the edges of the Internet

Ultra-large-scale Systems

Questions and answers about distributed systems

distributed systems

Most DS lectures and exercises seem to be organized in the following way:

  • Basic concepts of distributed systems (global time, synchronization, concurrency, reliability, security)

  • Types of distributes systems (real world examples)

  • Programming Models of distributed systems:

    • Socket based IPC

    • Remote Procedure Calls

    • Object Oriented Distributed Computing (CORBA, RMI)

    • Message Oriented Middleware (MOMs)

    • Agent based or with code transport (Aglets, Voyager, Jini)

    • Warehouse-scale computing, data center architectures

    • Peer-to-Peer Computing (Napster, freenet, seti@home)

    • Web Services (XML/SOAP based distribution)

The last years, developments at google, facebook and Co. have changed the world of distributed computing a lot. These changes also affect small and medium sized companies due to mashups. The lecture reflects these developments and puts a lot of emphasis on ultra-large-scale technolgies.


Read "Distributed Systems for fun and profit" to get an idea.

Browse Todd Hoff's excellent portal

Watch qcon videos at