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Modeling the reliability of distributed systems requires a good understanding of the reliability of the components. Careful modeling allows highly fault-tolerant distributed applications to be constructed at the least cost. Realistic estimates can be found by measuring the performance of actual systems. An enormous amount of information about system performance can be acquired with no special privileges via the Internet. A distributed monitoring tool called a tattler is described. The system is composed of a group of tattler processes that monitor a set of selected hosts.
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