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Table of contents
Distributed computing
Why Distributed computing
How distributed computing works
Advantages of distributed computing
Disadvantages of distributed computing
Examples of distributed computing
Frequently asked questions
Can you explain the difference between distributed computing and parallel computing?
Can you explain distributed garbage collection?
Why do we need openness in distributed computing?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Distributed Computing

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Have you ever wondered how multiple computers work together as a single system? How, even if one of the computers fails, the whole system keeps working?

Well, it’s done using distributed computing. This blog will discuss what distributed computing is, how it works, and its advantages and disadvantages.

Distributed computing

In simple words, distributed computing is nothing but a group of computers that work together at the backend while appearing as a single system to the users.

It is the use of distributed systems to complete computing tasks. So, different program parts are partitioned and assigned to a separate computing system in the network.

In distributed computing, multiple computers can host different software components, but 

They work to accomplish a common goal. These computers can be located at the same place or connected by a local or Wide Area Network.

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Why Distributed computing

As we know, distributed computing allows different computers to share information.

So distributed computing can enhance performance. 

For example, if an application runs on a computer and requires lengthy calculations, then distributing these calculations to a faster computer will increase its performance.

Since maintaining and troubleshooting a distributed system can be a complex task. A single machine would require upgrading to a traditional database to handle the increasing traffic. That is why horizontal scaling allows us to manage increasing traffic, and we don’t have to upgrade a single system again and again.

Distributed computing can also help to solve certain business problems. We all know that nowadays, business processes are situated in different places. A factory might be in one place, marketing in another, and sales in another. So distributed computing can connect these processes to a single line and hence make work easy.

How distributed computing works

As we have discussed earlier, distributed computing can help enhance performance. It can also help to meet user users increasing demands. Now let us understand how distributed computing work with the help of an example. There is an online application whose workload has doubled. Since the database has to handle twice more users, its performance will decrease. So to increase performance, we can upgrade the hardware, but it would be technically impractical to do so after a certain point. Here distributed computing comes into role. It allows multiple computers of different configurations to increase performance.

We can also divide the servers as masters and slaves in the above example. The slave server can handle the request while the master server handles the modification.

So distributed systems are designed so that even if a computer fails, the remaining computer keeps working.

Some examples of a distributed computing system include:

Telecommunication networks, the internet, peer-to-peer networks, scientific computing, etc.

Distributed computing environment

The distributed computing environment (DCE)is a software technology for deploying and managing data exchange and computing in a distributed system. These are typically used in large computing network systems and are used in Microsoft and Enrica.

Advantages of distributed computing

  • Cost-effectiveness: Distributed computing is cost-effective as compared to very large centralized systems. Initially, the cost of distributed computing is more than single mainframe computers, but after a certain point, they are more economical.
  • Fault tolerance and Redundancy: Distributed computing can be more tolerant to faults than single machines. For example, a business running over five devices will work even if one machine stop working. 
  • Scalability and Growth: Since it scales horizontally, It is easier to add another machine when the workload increases. Also, the master server has control to operate the slave server to its full capacity when in demand and turn it offline when not in use.
  • High Performance: It can provide higher performance and better cost performance.
  • Low Latency: Since a user can have nodes in different locations, distributed computing can connect to the nearest node, reducing latency.
  • Fast calculation speed: A distributed computer system can have multiple computers' computing power, hence making it faster than other systems.
  • Openness: It is an open system and can be accessed locally and remotely

Disadvantages of distributed computing

  • Security issue: Since it is an open system, it has data security and sharing risk. Both network and user data need to be secure.
  • Complexity: Distributed computing is more complex than single systems. They require high hardware and software for communication as well as security purposes.
  • High initial cost: Distributed computing require a high setup cost, including the cost of transmission, security, and software for communications between computers.

Examples of distributed computing

Distributed computing is used in many industries. some of them are as follows:

  •  telecommunication networks, and cellular networks
  • Computer networks like the internet
  • Routing algorithms
  • Network file systems
  • Distributed database and distributed management systems
  • Aircraft control systems
  • Industrial control system
  • Scientific computing includes cluster computing, cloud computing, grid computing, etc.


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Frequently asked questions

Can you explain the difference between distributed computing and parallel computing?

The main difference between distributed and parallel computing is that parallel computing uses shared memory while distributed computing contains multiple processors and memories.

Can you explain distributed garbage collection?

Distributed garbage collection automatically manages the resources by treating them as one logical system.

Why do we need openness in distributed computing?

Openness in distributed computing helps to offer new resource-sharing devices.


This blog has discussed distributed computing, how it works, and its uses in the real world. We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding distributed computing and its uses in the real world; if you would like to learn more, check out our articles related to big datadata warehouses, and data mining. You can also check out our online mock test series and try our interview experience with companies like Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft. You can also check out our 100+SQL problems asked by big companies.  Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow. 

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