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Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design Hardcover – 27 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 5 edition (27 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132143011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132143011
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 4.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,417,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I'm a Computer Scientist and writer from Bristol, UK. Find out more about me at http://champignon.net

Product Description

Review

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 Other books are quickly becoming outdated."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

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Niels Roesen Abildgaard on 30 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
Oh no, it's one of those unnecessarily verbose books. Most concepts in the book take up several pages where it could have done with a simple paragraph: It is very much full of unnecessary words. In addition it seems to suddenly refer to concepts that have not (and are not) explained in the book (but are not mainstream).

The book is ridden with long paragraphs with no real information referencing a different section in the end. These sections rarely provide perspective, in fact they rarely yield anything for the reader.

The book is impossible to skim through as all concepts are introduced in the midfle of long sections without any indicationbof where exactly to look. These sections are also ridden with entirely unrelated information. The summaries are absolutely no help as they are just a repetition of the introduction of the chapter; they don't really summarize anything. To get anythimg from the book you have to read it all.

In adfition to being so poorly written, the book is also factually wrong or outdated (come on, this edition is from 2012), especially when trying to argue for the use of technologies or bringing in different perspectives, rendering both of these unusable. As such the sections on web and HTML are mostly a waste of pages (30 of them) --- but you have to read them or you might miss one, single, important, cleverly hidden definition.

Bad read, 80% waste of time.
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By Ceylon Magebard on 1 April 2015
Format: Hardcover
Costs about triple what it's actually worth.
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By Vitor Mexia on 24 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good condition.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chua Yu Mei on 26 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a suggested read of my course. The quality of paper is perfect. Pearson's book has always been a good choice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent overview of Distributed Systems 7 Mar. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coulouris et al have created a very solid tome on Distributed Systems. Be forewarned, however - other reviewers have complained that the English is difficult and the book is too much for an undergraduate course. That might be true, but this book is targeted more for professionals and graduate students (I've been in I.T. for 25 years, have worked with multiple systems from mainframe down to mobile devices; this is a text for my current Master's program). As such, it should be expected that it isn't light reading, nor should it be assumed the English would be simple - critiquing a comp sci book for this is specious (somewhat akin to complaining about an anatomy text book: "why is there so much Latin?").

The authors go into deep detail on all aspects of distributed systems, outline case studies (Bit Torrent and Google among them), provide ample references (the references alone make this a useful book - I'd go so far as to say if you're not reading any of the referenced papers, you're not using this book properly and you might not be in the correct field of study), and lay out very interesting exercises. In a nutshell, if you're serious about distributed systems and consider yourself a professional, this is a worthy addition to your library.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great textbook 30 May 2012
By EJS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the better textbooks I've used.

This book does a good job of balancing theory and practice. Much of the information here is immensely practical and I've used it as reference material for software engineering projects I've worked on.

Generally, it is fairly engaging (as engineering textbooks go) and easy to understand.

This book covers a wide variety of topics. On the one hand, this is great because it provides you with a good overview of the topic. On the other hand, sometimes this leaves you wishing for a little more on certain topics. For example, it's got some great information on Web Services, but if you go to actually implement one you'll need another book with more details on how to do that.

Overall, I recommend this textbook. This is one of the textbooks I've actually kept after finishing the course.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Consultants want to borrow it 8 Oct. 2014
By R. Dameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I teach graduate courses in software engineering to computer science and computer engineering students. I've used this book and its earlier editions starting with the 3rd. When initially creating the course for which this would be the textbook, I loaned a copy of the book to consultants in specific topic areas and asked them to indicate which topics they thought should be emphasized in the chapter(s) related to their consulting expertise. Invariably, after doing what I had asked, they would tell me they really liked the book (a lot!) and would ask to borrow it awhile longer because they wanted to read the other chapters in areas where they were not expert after seeing how well the chapter(s) were handled in their specialty. I can think of no higher recommendation.

The organization of the 5th edition is an improvement over the 3rd and 4th where the earlier editions were struggling with an even more rapidly changing field and shifting emphases on the relative importance of various topics and how topics should be grouped.

The focus (as the title says) is on concepts and design. In my software engineering, I go elsewhere for material on requirements engineering, architectural design patterns, and test suite design for distributed systems.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
IMO this book is the best out there for distributed computing 15 Aug. 2014
By David Bakken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have taught distributed computing for 15 years now. It is the area of my research as a professor and before that in a well-known research lab.

IMO this book is the best out there for distributed computing. I really like a lot of things about it, including how they systematically include failure models from Chapter 2 and on. Chapter 6 (indirect communication) and Chapter 10 (peer-to-peer systems) are absolute gems.

I have only used this edition for 2-3 years. I was not as enamored with their previous editions (while solid, I think adding Gordon on 5ed helped a lot). Ergo, before this I have used Tanenbaum and van Steen, CDK3, and one other. This is the best. I have not yet seen TvS's new or pending book yet. But, given their background and past book, I suspect it will be more bottom-up from a distributed OS perspective so I'll likely still use this.

Despite some reviewers saying that it is not for undergrads, our DC class is conjoint grad and senior. The seniors (and the occasional junior) don't seem to have problems with the book. So I don't quite understand the complaints that it is too advanced for undergrads. Perhaps these are taking it from a professor whose area is not DC. That could make a big difference.

Dave Bakken, Washington State University (on behalf of myself, not my employer)
19 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Terrible Textbook 10 Dec. 2012
By Travis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had to get this book for my Distributed Systems course I'm taking at university. This has got to be one of the worst textbooks I have ever had to buy in my 4 years here. The explanations are incredibly unnecessarily lengthy encouraging the reader to forget what they were even reading half way through a paragraph.

The descriptive words and technical language used in the textbook is far too advanced for an undergraduate course. The writer of the book must have wanted to sound extremely professional and formal instead of trying to actually teach the reader the concepts of distributed systems. I can't say anything good about this book because it hardly helped me, if at all in my course.

There has to be better alternatives out there. Don't waste your money.
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