This is what I expect to become a great article series on the Amazon Dynamo paper. The author, Will Larson, suggests a different path of understanding the inner workings of this system:
I decided that a good way to record the ideas (as well as solidify them in my mind) was to go through the process of writing a distributed key-value store, and then incrementally add the enhancements discussed in the Dynamo paper. By the end of this series we’ll have re-implemented most of the interesting ideas from Dynamo in a distributed Erlang system.
He sounds really excited to have to deal with the concepts introduced in the Dynamo paper: consistent hashing, merkle trees, vector clocks, gossip protocols, sloppy quorums) and so far has published the first part: Hands On Review of the Dynamo Paper and the 2nd Durable Writes & Consistent Reads.