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Distributed System

Definition of Distributed System

A distributed system, in the realm of computing, refers to a network of independent computers that work together as a single system to achieve common goals. In such a system, computers (often referred to as 'nodes') are connected by a network and communicate with each other to share resources, process data, or perform tasks. This setup allows distributed systems to be highly efficient, scalable, and resilient, as they can distribute workload among multiple computers and maintain functionality even if some nodes fail.

Origin of Distributed System

The concept of distributed systems evolved in the 1970s and 1980s as a natural progression from the limitations of centralized computing. The advent of affordable and powerful personal computers, along with advancements in networking technologies, set the stage for the development of distributed computing. This paradigm shift was driven by the need for systems that could handle growing data and computational demands more effectively and flexibly than a single large machine.

Practical Application of Distributed System

Distributed systems have numerous practical applications, one of the most prominent being in cloud computing. Services like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure rely on distributed computing to offer scalable and reliable cloud services to users worldwide. In such setups, tasks are distributed across multiple servers in different locations, allowing for efficient handling of large volumes of data and high-speed processing. Distributed systems are also fundamental in the functioning of various internet services, including social media platforms, online banking, and e-commerce websites.

Benefits of Distributed System

The advantages of distributed systems are manifold. They offer improved performance by distributing workloads across several nodes, thus enhancing processing speed and efficiency. These systems are highly scalable; additional nodes can be easily added to handle increased load. They also provide better reliability and fault tolerance, as the failure of one node doesn't bring down the entire system. Moreover, distributed systems can be cost-effective, as they often utilize less expensive, commodity hardware and can be scaled according to demand.


Unlike centralized systems where a single computer handles all tasks, distributed systems spread these tasks across multiple interconnected computers, improving efficiency, reliability, and scalability.

Distributed systems can offer strong security measures, but the level of security depends on the implementation. Good practices include encryption, secure communication protocols, and robust authentication mechanisms.

Yes, distributed systems are particularly well-suited for big data applications. They can process and store large volumes of data efficiently by distributing the workload across multiple nodes.


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