Distributed OS: Fall 2019

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Course Outline

Here is the course outline.

Group Report Grading

Make sure your reports have the following (10 points total):

  • Briefly summarize the papers so report can be read by anyone (2 points)
  • Address most of the assigned discussion questions (4 points)
  • Write in an understandable form using complete sentences and paragraphs (2 points)
  • Reflect the discussion you had, reporting the questions that came up and points of debate (2 points)

Project Help

To develop your literature review or research proposal, start with a single research paper that you find interesting and that is related to distributed operating systems in some way.

To begin selecting a paper, I suggest that you:

  • search on Google Scholar using keywords relating to your interests, and/or
  • browse the proceedings of major conferences that publish work related to distributed operating systems.

The main operating system conferences are OSDI and ACM SOSP (sosp.org,ACM DL). Note that not all the work here is on distributed operating systems! Also, many other conferences publish some work related to distributed operating systems, e.g. NSDI.

To help you write a literature review or the background of a research paper, read the following:

Class Schedule & Readings

September 4, 2019 (in person)


September 9, 2019 (online)

The Early Internet:

September 11, 2019 (online)

The Mother of All Demos:

September 16, 2019 (online)

The Alto:

September 18, 2019 (online)

Multics & UNIX:

Optional: Browse around the Multicians website.

September 23, 2019 (online)


September 25, 2019 (online)

Remote Procedure Calls

September 30, 2019 (online)

Distributed Shared Memory

October 2, 2019 (online)

Sprite, AFS, & Literature reviews

October 7, 2019 (online)

Amoeba & Clouds

October 9, 2019 (online)

Plan 9 & Inferno (no group report)

Second half of class will be a review for the midterm.

October 16, 2019 (in person)

Midterm exam (in class)

October 28, 2019 (online)

BOINC & Tapestry

Background (optional but helpful):

October 30, 2019 (online)

Farsite & Oceanstore

Project Proposal due Nov. 3rd.

November 4, 2019 (online)

GFS & Chubby

November 6, 2019 (online)

MapReduce & BigTable

November 11, 2019 (online)

NASD & Ceph

November 13, 2019 (online)

Cassandra & Dynamo

November 18, 2019 (online)

Haystack & F4

November 20, 2019 (online)

Spanner & Tensorflow

November 25, 2019 (online)


November 27, 2019 (online)

SCOPE & Yarn

December 2, 2019 (online)

Borg, Omega, Kubernetes

December 4, 2019 (online)

Zookeeper & Sapphire

December 6, 2019 (online)

Wrap-up Discussion

December 13, 2019

Final Exam Review, 3 PM in CB 2202 (audio)

December 15, 2019

Final Exam, 7 PM in AT 102

December 22, 2019

Final Projects due

Other readings

Containers & Orchestration

"Serverless Computing"