Distributed OS: Fall 2021

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Course Outline

Here is the course outline.


Using Openstack

The experiences (and potentially your project) will involve using the SCS Openstack cluster:


More information will be posted here by the first class.

Note: If you don't have access to the course information on brightspace, please email Prof. Somayaji, you may need to be manually added. (If you're at UofO or you recently added COMP 5102, you probably need to be added manually.) On Brightspace the course should show up as COMP 4000 no matter whether you enrolled in it or COMP 5102.

Project Help

To develop a 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:

Implementation experiences will depend upon your technical background and personal interests. If you have an idea, please discuss with Anil or William as soon as you can.

Readings & Classes

September 9, 2021


September 14, 2021


Note that the video covers the main points of the paper.

September 16, 2021


September 21, 2021


September 23, 2021

Distributed Shared Memory

September 28, 2021

Plan 9

September 30, 2021

Solaris Zones

October 5, 2021


October 7, 2021

Chubby & ZooKeeper

October 12, 2021

BigTable & MapReduce

October 14, 2021

Omega & Borg

October 19, 2021

Midterm Review

October 21, 2021


November 2, 2021

Cassandra & Dynamo

November 04, 2021

Haystack & F4

November 09, 2021

Proposal due by 11:59 PM

Spanner & Tensorflow

November 11, 2021


November 16, 2021

OceanStore & BOINC

November 18, 2021

Tapestry & Delos

Background (optional but helpful):

November 23, 2021

Cryptocurrency origins

November 25, 2021

No class, US Thanksgiving

November 30, 2021

Ethereum & NFTs

December 2, 2021

Ethereum Security & The Future

December 7, 2021

Project Presentations (Informal)

December 9, 2021

Class wrap up & Exam review

December 19, 2021

Final Exam (Online, 2-5 PM)