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Designing Distributed Systems by Brendan Burns

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Part I. Single-Node Patterns

This book concerns itself with distributed systems, which are applications made up of many different components running on many different machines. However, the first section of this book is devoted to patterns that exist on a single node. The motivation for this is straightforward. Containers are the foundational building block for the patterns in this book, but in the end, groups of containers co-located on a single machine make up the atomic elements of distributed system patterns.

Motivations

Though it is clear as to why you might want to break your distributed application into a collection of different containers running on different machines, it is perhaps somewhat less clear as to why you might also want to break up the components running on a single machine into different containers. To understand the motivation for these groups of containers, it is worth considering the goals behind containerization. In general, the goal of a container is to establish boundaries around specific resources (e.g., this application needs two cores and 8 GB of memory). Likewise, the boundary delineates team ownership (e.g., this team owns this image). Finally, the boundary is intended to provide separation of concerns (e.g., this image does this one thing).

All of these reasons provide motivation for splitting up an application on a single machine into a group of containers. Consider resource isolation first. Your application may be made up of two components: ...

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