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I'm trying to learn cloud-computing, especially the idea of distributed operations (Grid Computing?) for a project I'm working on. We'll need to perform distributed fault-tolerant operations over a very large data set, which we will also be responsible for storing and maintaining in an optimized way.

If I'm trying to learn from books or white-papers, what types of things should I look out for and focus on to help me gain this knowledge as efficiently and effectively as possible?

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Programmers.SE is not a discussion board: indiscriminate lists like this diminish the usefulness of this site for people trying to get answers to specific questions. If you have a specific problem you need help with, feel free to ask about that. –  user8 May 3 '11 at 19:48
    
@Mark Trapp Would not "I'm trying to find a good base of literature from which to learn distributed operations" qualify as a specific problem? I've seen many other "recommended book list" questions.... –  GWLlosa May 3 '11 at 20:17
    
present a specific problem you need help with: "I'm trying to do X, what can I do?" or "I'm trying to get help with X specific situation, would Y book be useful for this?" or "How would I go about selecting a book for X?" are all on-topic questions. Asking for book recommendations doesn't help us help you get to a solution: answerers can only guess what book is going to be useful to you. Check out Q&A is Hard, Let's Go Shopping! for more information. –  user8 May 3 '11 at 20:21
    
@Mark Trapp so something like the recent edit? –  GWLlosa May 3 '11 at 23:38
    
you're still just asking for a list of book recommendations. The point of Stack Exchange is to provide direct answers, not to crowd-source reading lists: we can help you with any questions you have regarding Distributed Software Systems directly. I've edited your question to that effect and get it away from being just a book recommendation question. –  user8 May 4 '11 at 3:58
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2 Answers

I really like this book: Beautiful Architecture: Leading Thinkers Reveal the Hidden Beauty in Software Design

It probably isn't completely related to the concepts that you have listed (it is more higher level). I still believe that there are some related examples and presented in an approachable manner.

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This may be noteworthy, I hesitate to say it's a place to start though and should definitely be accompanied by material that isn't so whitepaper-ey. It's very dry. http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/labs.google.com/en//papers/bigtable-osdi06.pdf

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It also needs mentioning that the whitepaper is from 2006, it is not recent. –  Jeff Welling Apr 1 '11 at 5:11
    
Not recent, but informative nonetheless. Good find. –  GWLlosa Apr 1 '11 at 11:46
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