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Fantastic Faults and What to Call Them

Fantastic faults, and what to call them!

Whose fault is it anyway?

Fault: a definition.

It’s important to distinguish between the concepts of a “fault waiting to happen” and a “fault that already exploded in our face”!

Active versus latent faults

The (faulty) domino effect

Errors: a definition
The flow of a fault through a distributed system.

Specifically, the unhandled error caused by a single fault within one node can now begin to impact the rest of the system.

Types and flavors of faults

The three main types of faults
Transient, intermittent, and permanent faults, visualized.
The two main “flavors” of faults.


  1. Fault Tolerance in Distributed Systems, Sumit Jain
  2. Fault Tolerance: Reliable Systems from Unreliable Components, Jerome H. Saltzer and M. Frans Kaashoek
  3. Distributed Systems: Fault Tolerance, Professor Jussi Kangasharju
  4. Recovery and Fault Tolerance, Professor Tong Lai Y
  5. Fault Tolerance, Paul Krzyzanowski



Exploring the basics of distributed systems, every alternate Wednesday, for a year.

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