About "A Systems Approach"
This site is home to all the resources related to the Systems Approach series of books. Building on the theme of our original Computer Networks: A Systems Approach text book, we are writing a series of books that apply the systems lens to emerging topics (such as 5G, SDN, etc.). With thousands of factoids available on the web (especially when it comes to trending topics), the challenge is to distinguish between what's important and what's not; between what's superficial and what's lasting. Our goal for the series is to provide this perspective: to give students and professionals a measured dose of technical depth, a framework for understanding those details, and a foundation for acting on that understanding.
The "Systems Approach" refers to the field of design and implementation of computer systems. The term is used commonly by computer science researchers and practitioners who study the issues that arise when building complex computing systems such as operating systems, networks, distributed applications, etc. The key to the systems approach is a "big picture" view – you need to look at how the components of a system interact with each other to achieve an overall result, rather than simply optimizing each component. In the networking context, that often means going beyond the traditional layered view to see how an issue is best tackled in a way that might touch several layers. The Systems Approach has a strong focus on real-world implementation, with the Internet being the obvious example of a widely-deployed, complex networking system.
Within this site you will find links to contribute to the books, which are all being developed as open source projects. We're also blogging about our thoughts on the history and development of computer networks and related technologies.
Bruce & Larry