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Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design (4th Edition) Hardcover – May 20, 2005

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321263544 ISBN-10: 0321263545 Edition: 4th

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Concepts and Design


Fourth Edition


George Coulouris   Jean Dollimore   Tim Kindberg

'This book is simply the standard by which all other Distributed Systems texts are measured.' review of the third edition

From mobile phones to the Internet, our lives depend increasingly on distributed systems linking computers and other devices together in a seamless and transparent way. The fourth edition of this best-selling text continues to provide a comprehensive source of material on the principles and practice of distributed computer systems and the exciting new developments based on them, using a wealth of modern case studies to illustrate their design and development.


Highlights of the fourth edition include:


Ø      Three entirely new chapters on peer-to-peer systems, web services, and mobile and ubiquitous systems.

Ø      More than 25 detailed case studies of well-known systems, eight of them new, including studies of the Grid, Cooltown, Bluetooth andthe (in)security of the WiFi WEP protocol.

Ø      Updated coverage of XML and its security extensions, the Advanced Encryption Standard and security design for ubiquitous systems.


Distributed Systems provides students of computer science and engineering with the skills they will need to design and maintain software for distributed applications. It will also be invaluable to software engineers and systems designers wishing to understand new and future developments in the field.


George Coulouris is a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Jean Dollimore was, until her retirement, Senior Lecturer in computer science at Queen Mary College, Universityof London. Tim Kindberg is a Senior Researcher at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Bristol.


Check out or for a rich set of resources for students and instructors, including:

Ø      The book bibliography with links to relevant online references.

Ø      PowerPoint teaching slides.

Ø      Presentation guidelines for instructors.

Ø      Solutions to all exercises (for instructors only).

Ø      Material from previous editions that will not fit in this one.

Ø      Source code for all program listings.

Ø      Links to many courses using the book.

Ø      A carefully maintained errata list ¿ and more!



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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 4 edition (May 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321263545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321263544
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Comp Sc. Instructor on December 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I had adopted this book to teach Distributed Systems to a senior level undergrad class. I think I may have made a mistake, not knowing before hand how hard it would be for me to read this book (despite having some background in distributed systems). The students constantly complained of it being too "Wordy" and "vague". Few generic figures and mostly all text that seemed to be a rehash of several IEEE/ACM papers without giving sufficient examples or explanation. Some times, the authors did indeed explain some concepts with examples. At other times, they just left the concepts in vague mathematical notation or arcane definitions expecting the readers to make sense of it. While the english is grammatically correct, it is written in such a stuffy academic style that I found myself having to read most paragraphs twice or thrice before I could figure out what the author was trying to say. At times, I was thinking the authors should have been lawyers instead. (If the authors are reading this .. please consider the maxim: A picture is indeed worth a thousand words). A side note: I am not averse to reading academic papers. I do that all day long. But I just don't think a textbook should be written in that style.

On the pro side: This book has lots of content related to distributed systems - and that was one of the reasons I adopted it. However, what's the point if that content is unreadable? My recommendation would be other books such as Tanenbaums Distributed Systems book (it has lesser content, but more readable and suited for undergraduate level).

I give it high marks for the good content, but very low marks for the style of narration and presentation.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By wakkacubed on February 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
+ sturdy construction

+ intro to many topics

+ problems at end of chapter have page reference of the answer

- shallow coverage of too many topics

- some key learning points are left to the student in an intro book

- poor formatting and organization

= an intro book that doesn't build enough on the foundations and tries to cover too much in this growing field
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Brutto on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best review I can give for this book is this: it's OK.

It's not terribly thorough, but it's easy to read. You're going to need some supplementary publications in order to fill in the gaps it leaves or just to answer the questions you will probably have popping up in your head.

I'd recommend reading this before anything else, though. All the other books are so immensely difficult to actually force yourself through that this provides a great "starter" so you're better prepared for what everyone else is going to throw at you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carlos A. Morales Ramirez on March 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I use this book as a teacher, I find it very complete and simple to understand, RMI examples are fine and good to improve the learning about distributed systemps.

I'm giving this book 4 stars, this book is good and perfect as an introductory learning but I have had often to complement the content using another books as well (like Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms (2nd Edition))
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