Large Systems 2020-2021

Lecturer Arno Bakker
Lab Teachers Vincent Breider, Roy Vermeulen


Design and Implementation

Distributed Systems (3rd Edition, February 2017) by Maarten van Steen and Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Available as a free eBook from

Chapters and Sections to Study

Recommend reading

You might find it useful to read this sample chapter from “The Practice of Cloud System Administration” by Limoncelli et al., 2015. Content-wise, it sits between the two books.


The Practice of System and Network Administration (3rd Edition, October 2016)
by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Christina J. Hogan, Strata R. Chalup
ISBN-10: 0321919165
ISBN-13: 978-0321919168

Chapters and Sections to Study


Your final grade consists of:

Closed-book Exam 85%
Presentation 15%

Minimum grade for each part 4.0. Lab assignments must be graded sufficiently for the exam grade to count.

Presentation Date: Monday, December 14, 9:00

Exam Date: Thursday, December 17, 12:00 + 14:45

Deadline for labs: Sunday January 3, 2021, 23:59


Week Topic PDF Quiz
1a Course Intro & Distribution Intro & Virtualization Course Intro, Distr. Intro, Virtualization Part 1
1b Virtualization Virtualization Part 2 Crossword
2a Virtualization Virtualization Part 3 Diagrams, Container Colouring Book
2b Virtualization + Communication Virtualization Part 4, Communication Part 1
3a Guest lecture Pieter Lexis on IaC See internal page
3b Communication & Coordination Part 2 Communication & Coordination Part 2
4a Replication & Partitioning Replication & Partitioning
4b Fault Tolerance Fault Tolerance & BitTorrent
5a Architectures: Google Search Architectures: Google Search
5b Datacenters & Admin Intro Datacenters , Admin Intro
6a Guest lecture Kris Buytaert on DevOps Slides
6b Services & Desktops Services, Desktops
7a Servers Servers
7w Guest lecture Abe Boersma on Infrastructure at Rabobank See internal page Note: Wednesday 9:00
7b Overflow

Internal page for sheets


Week Topic PDF Code Feedback deadline
1 Virtualization Lab 1 (2 afternoons) Nov 5, 9:00
2 VM Migration Lab 2 (2 afternoons) Nov 12, 9:00
3a RPC Lab 3a (1 afternoon),, Nov 16, 9:00
3b Clocks Lab 3b (1 afternoon) Averaging Protocol Nov 19, 9:00
4 Infrastructure as Code Lab 4 (2 afternoons) In your repo! ;o) Nov 26, 9:00
5 Scientific measurement Lab 5 (2 afternoons) Dec 3, 9:00
6 Amazon EC2 Lab 6 (2 afternoons) Optional
7 Prepare presentation (2 afternoons)

Site Visits

Due to the Corona virus we have not organized any site visits.


Paper presentations

Projects? Based on student feedback, there is no LS project this year. Instead there are more labs to teach you about Large Systems.


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