Describing Distributed Systems

SRE    |    Intermediate
  • 13 videos | 42m 13s
  • Includes Assessment
  • Earns a Badge
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Distributed systems involves numerous computers that work together but appear as only a single computer to the operator. In this course, you'll learn about distributed systems can provide numerous benefits including performance, availability, and autonomy. You'll also explore distributed systems in greater detail, and learn strategies and best practices for monitoring them.


  • Discover the key concepts covered in this course
    Provide an overview of distributed systems
    Provide an overview of the four basic architecture models - client/server, three-tier, n-tier, and peer-to-peer
    Describe the benefits of monitoring including tracking long term trends, testing performance, alerting, business analytics, and improved debugging
    Describe the importance of monitoring such as analyzing long-term trends, alerting, and building dashboards
    Differentiate between whitebox and blackbox monitoring
    Provide an overview of monitoring dashboards including what they are, why we use them, and common elements of a dashboard
  • Differentiate between events, alerts, and incidents
    Describe the importance of conducting ad hoc retrospective analysis
    Recognize best practices when it comes to general system monitoring
    Recognize considerations for a successful monitoring strategy for establishing a reliable network
    Describe the importance of setting reasonable expectations for monitoring
    Summarize the key concepts covered in this course


  • 1m 21s
  • 4m 54s
    In this video, you'll learn more about distributed systems. These are systems with multiple components residing on different machines that all communicate and coordinate with each other to provide a service. But from the perspective of an end user, it may appear as a single system. A common example is a website that relies on a backend database to provide or capture data. FREE ACCESS
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    3.  Types of Distributed Systems
    3m 35s
    In this video, you'll learn more about the four main types of distributed systems in terms of architecture. You'll discover that the most commonly used is the Client-server model. This is because data in one form or another is stored on a server, which is then accessed by a client. Other common architectures include the three-tier model and the n-tier model. FREE ACCESS
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    4.  Benefits of Monitoring
    3m 43s
    In this video, you'll learn the benefits of monitoring your business or organization as a whole. You'll discover that monitoring your business translates into identifying where to focus your attention or determine where changes are necessary. This begins with identifying long-term trends. FREE ACCESS
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    5.  Importance of Monitoring Distributed Systems
    2m 56s
    In this video, you'll learn more about the importance of monitoring a distributed system. You'll begin by noting how it can help analyze trends over the longer term. For example, if you consider something like a database, you can note its initial size and keep track of how much it grows over various timeframes. Other topics include alerting and dashboards. FREE ACCESS
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    6.  Whitebox vs. Blackbox Monitoring
    2m 51s
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    7.  Monitoring Dashboards
    3m 45s
    In this video, you'll learn more about monitoring dashboards. These are commonly used by anyone in a monitoring position to provide centralized access to the data that's most relevant to the user. For anything that needs to be monitored, there is some data that's more relevant than other data. FREE ACCESS
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    8.  Events, Alerts, and Incidents
    2m 47s
    In this video, you'll learn more about events, alerts, and incidents. You'll learn there are differences between these three terms. An event is characterized by some kind of an observed change to that which you would consider to be normal. This can apply to many different aspects of any organization including system changes, environmental changes, workflow changes, process changes, or user changes. FREE ACCESS
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    9.  Retrospective Analysis
    3m 41s
    In this video, you'll learn more about the importance of performing an ad hoc retrospective analysis for instances where problems have occurred. You'll learn that an ad hoc retrospective analysis refers to the fact that sometimes things just go wrong unexpectedly despite our best monitoring and alerting efforts. Something that seemed to be an entirely healthy service can fail at any time. FREE ACCESS
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    10.  Monitoring Best Practices
    2m 57s
    In this video, you'll learn more about general best practices for monitoring distributed systems. You'll learn how to configure meaningful alerts and how to prioritize alerts based on their severity. You'll also discover redundancy in your monitoring solution should be implemented. and discover other best practices such as testing your monitoring and alerting system to ensure it is monitoring in a reliable manner and alerting when appropriate. FREE ACCESS
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    11.  Monitoring Strategies
    5m 36s
    In this video, you'll learn about the factors to consider when designing and implementing an effective monitoring strategy. You'll learn that when dealing with distributed systems, you need to take a broader approach to monitoring. You also need to ensure your monitoring solution takes into consideration the application or service as a whole while still monitoring each system involved. And of course, for each system, you need to go right down to the individual component level. FREE ACCESS
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    12.  Expectations for Monitoring
    3m 2s
    In this video, you'll learn more about setting reasonable expectations for your monitoring solution. You'll discover there's no need to configure your monitoring solution to identify and correct every possible issue. Configure simple rules that detect the most prevalent and common issues. Otherwise, you'll spend too much time on maintaining and configuring the monitoring application itself, rather than what you're monitoring. FREE ACCESS
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    13.  Course Summary
    1m 5s
    In this video, you'll summarize what you've learned in the course. You've examined distributed systems, including the importance of monitoring, monitoring strategies, and monitoring best practices. You also explored distributed systems in general and the different architecture models, the benefits and importance of monitoring, and the differences between white box and black box monitoring, monitoring dashboards. FREE ACCESS


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