Demystifying Properties of Distributed Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Distributed systems are inevitable part of an IT infrastructure as they offer several benefits over centralized systems. However, designing a distributed system is a very complex and challenging task as it requires a complex infrastructure comprising several components and properties to realise these benefits for users. The properties of a distributed system are the most crucial for its design, implementation and debugging purposes. The inclusion of different types and levels of properties results in different types of distributed systems. However, it is very difficult to understand and analyse all the properties of distributed systems due to their types, levels, complexities, and variations in different application areas. Additionally, some properties are very similar to the properties of other types of systems, which requires a system-specific understanding. Therefore, this paper will analyse the following important properties of distributed systems: resource sharing, openness, concurrency, consistency, idempotency, scalability, availability, reliability, fault tolerance and transparency. It will explain their meaning, types, levels, requirements and compromises in distributed systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISSE 2021 - 7th IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering, Proceedings
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-3168-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-3169-9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021
Event2021 IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering (ISSE) - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 13 Sept 202113 Oct 2021

Publication series

Name2021 IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering (ISSE)
ISSN (Print)2687-881X
ISSN (Electronic)2687-8828


Conference2021 IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering (ISSE)
Abbreviated titleISSE


  • Availability
  • Concurrency
  • Consistency
  • Distributed Systems
  • Fault Tolerance
  • Idempotency
  • Openness
  • Properties of Distributed Systems
  • Reliability
  • Resource Sharing
  • Scalability
  • Transparency


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