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Two tightly coupled multi-computer testbeds, one providing efficient inter-node communications tailored to the application, and the other providing more flexible full connectivity among processors and memories are used to support validation of the design techniques for distributed real-time systems. The testbeds are valuable tools for evaluating, analyzing, and studying the behavior of many algorithms for distributed systems. We have used the testbeds in studying distributed recovery block scheme for handling hardware and software faults. A testbed has also been used to analyze database locking techniques and a fault-tolerant locking protocol for recovery from faults that occur during updating of replicated copies of files in tightly coupled distributed systems. Testbeds can be configured to represent the operating environments and input scenarios more accurately than software simulation. Therefore, testbed-based evaluation provides more accurate results than simulation and yields greater insight into the characteristics and limitations of proposed concepts. This is an important advantage in the complex field of distributed real-time system design evaluation and validation. Therefore, testbed-based experimentation is an effective approach to validate system concepts and design techniques for distributed systems for real-time applications.