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Distributed generations (DGs) powered by renewable energy resources have become increasingly popular and starts to show benefits, but their connection to distribution systems brings operation challenges that must be carefully monitored and controlled. This paper proposes a new network-enabled, real-time monitoring strategy for tracking the operating states of the distribution system, with a focus on monitoring the dynamic operations of DGs. The design of a new network monitoring architecture is presented in this paper. This architecture is fault tolerant and has features from classical cascading, star, and ring architectures. The paper presents the real-time data acquisition and data post-processing strategy, design, and implementation in three layers: cell units for monitoring feeder-tapped circuits including DG circuits connected on the feeders, node unit for feeder and substation-layer equipment, and station unit for distribution network. Case studies are provided to demonstrate the proposed monitoring strategy and architecture using IEEE feeder circuits.