Distributed computing is a broad term that encompasses several related concepts. The term most commonly refers to computer systems that are run across a large number of computers distributed around the world, but it can also be used to describe the process of creating these systems.

Distributed computing allows for greater efficiency and redundancy as opposed to centralized computing where every computer is operated from a single location. An example of this would be a group of students sharing an Internet connection and a single computer running an education site.

In contrast, if you run your own computing operations from one home or office, you’re still operating in a centralized fashion but with more machines spread out over a larger area. To help understand how distributed computing works, let’s take a look at its different components.

What is Distributed Computing?

Distributed computing is a broad term that encompasses several related concepts. The term most commonly refers to computer systems that are run across a large number of computers distributed around the world, but it can also be used to describe the process of creating these systems. Distributed computing allows for greater efficiency and redundancy as opposed to centralized computing where every computer is operated from a single location.

An example of this would be a group of students sharing an Internet connection and a single computer running an education site. In contrast, if you run your own computing operations from one home or office, you’re still operating in a centralized fashion but with more machines spread out over a larger area. To help understand how distributed computing works, let’s take a look at its different components.

What is a Computer Network?

A computer network is a collection of interconnected computer systems that allow data to be shared, processed and/or stored among several groups of users. These computer systems may be located within the same building, shared facility or even across the world.

What is a Server?

A server is a computer that hosts programs and storage devices that allow computers to communicate with one another. It’s the server’s job to accept connections from clients and send requests to other computers on the network. A server may be located within your own home or an organization’s data center. Server machines typically have powerful processing power that’s enough to handle the processing power of a large number of clients simultaneously.

What Is a Client/Desktop/Mobile Computer?

A client computer is the actual computer that interacts with the computer network. It’s the one connected to the network and used by the clients to communicate with the server. A desktop computer is typically more powerful than a laptop computer and often includes a keyboard, a monitor and a keyboard/monitor combo that can be used together.

A laptop computer is typically more powerful than a desktop computer but less powerful than a mobile computer such as a smartphone or a tablet.

How Distributed Computing Works: Clients Join the Network, Computers Send Messages to One Another and Upstream Servers Take Notes

Clients Join the Network When a client computer requests a service from a server on the network, the server sends a message to all the other computers on the network with the request. All the computers then send messages to the server with their requests.

At the same time, the client sends messages to the other computers on the network with the requested information. The network sends the data to all the computers in the network and then sends the results back to the client. This type of distributed computing is usually referred to as peer-to-peer communication.

Peer-to-peer communication is the basis for many forms of decentralized computing. You see peer-to-peer communication in everything from sharing photos and videos to running websites and playing games.

Computers Send Messages to One Another

When a computer sends a message to another computer, it’s called sending a message to another computer. It doesn’t matter if the message has no particular meaning or if it contains links to files or websites. The important thing is that the two computers know how to reach each other based on information sent and received by the computers on the network.

You can send messages to computers on the network without sending them any data. This type of communication is usually referred to as peer-to-peer communication. It’s what allows computers on the network to talk to each other and share information.

Upstream Servers Take Notes

Once the computers on the network are in on the distributed computing game, the real fun can begin. Once a computer sends a message to the network, other computers on the network can take notes based on what that computer sent. When a computer sends a message to the network, other computers on the network can take notes based on what that computer sent.

This is how data is altered, modified or added to. It’s how data is deleted, removed or replaced. In real-world terms, this means that the computers on the network can do any of the following: Share data. Both computers on the network can now see the same data as well as any changes that have been made to it. Partition data.

A computer on the network can now store different parts of the data in separate computers so that the system doesn’t have to be rebuilt from scratch every time a new piece of data is needed. Share workloads. Now that both computers on the network know what data and algorithm to use, the computers on the network can share their workloads and help achieve greater efficiency.

Key Takeaway

Distributed computing makes use of computer systems that are distributed across a large number of computers located around the world – either on different computers in the same building, a remote location or even across the Earth’s surface. The distributed nature of the system makes the system efficient and flexible, allowing for greater redundancy and efficiency than a system that is operated from a single location.

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