The distribution systems increase the resourcing power and data transferring speed of a network.
The distributed system, also called as distributed databases or distributed computing, is an assemblage of free elements (computers and mobile devices) located in various systems, which communicate by sharing messages among themselves to meet the pre-determined goals. This system appears as a single interface of component or element to the end users. Along with the prevention of failure, this system can maximize the data and resources at the same time. In case of system outage, the service will continue to function without any halt.
The systems or machines operating on distributed system can be a virtual machine, a physical server, a computer or a container. A node can also be a part of the distributed system if it has features such as connectivity to the network, communication via texts, and a local memory.
- Functions of a Distributed System
- Distributed system helps the network to increase its processing and computing capabilities with the increase in number of machines or nodes
- This system helps in finding the problems and failures occurring in the system and fixing them
- A single task can be processed on various machines at the same time
- It controls the accessibility that any node possess, to communicate with other nodes of the system
- Data transfer is possible on software as well as hardware devices
- Higher resources sharing can be done when using a distributed system
- Architecture of a Distributed System
A distributed system is the modification of previous networking systems, which had some limitations on both client and server side. This system is implemented by top organizations with the increase in concerns regarding the privacy and security of data. The distributed system has a network, which connects the elements such as software, hardware, or a machine together, to communicate and transfer the data among these elements. This network is attached to an IP address and the data transferred among the elements consist of files, datasets or objects. With the necessity of developing and handling the new machines to increase the scale of applications and services, the distributed systems were created. This system resembles the decentralized system but without a central server. Due to the absence of centralized server, the users of distributed system have equal accessibility to data although there are user privileges enabled whenever required.
The two major methods through which the distributed system works are: -
- The distributed system enables resource sharing and communication services, with every system possessing its own end user
- The end users can access the outcomes as one single cohesive unit, with every system sharing a mutual goal
However, there are some uncertainties in distributed systems. It has three basic properties such as:
- No need of global clock
- Failure of one component does not halt the whole system
- All the components run simultaneously
- Pros of a distributed system
- Failure of a single node or component does not stop the functioning of entire system
- Multiple nodes work together in parallel without any faults
- The distributed system is the most reliable system than its counterparts
- The work can be distributed equally among various machines, hence, efficient work-flow
- This system offers better performance due to its load distribution
- It is cheap and usually easy to add new nodes as well as functionality when required in the system, as the computing takes place separately on each node
- Cons of a distributed system
- Complicated design and debugging steps are essential for organizing a distributed system
- Wider the network is distributed, higher are the chances of latency rate i.e. delay in delivering the data across the network. This affects the consistency and availability of the network.
- Difficulty in assembling, functioning, and inspecting the hardware metrics on the network
- Scheduling conflict often leads to stoppage of nodes with no clear information on time required for it
For functioning of the distributed system, the software and hardware designs are used which are inter-connected. All the processes are connected through a communication system and the central processing units are connected through the network.
There are four basic design models of the distributed systems:
Three-tier distribution system: In this type of architecture, the clients depend on a middle tier for the decision making and for all the procedures. Basically, this model is implemented in web APIs where the middle tier or the third party agent receives requests from the clients. These requests do not necessarily have any state, i.e., the stateless API (Application Programming Interface). The middle tier processes the data and sends it to the server. The data of the clients is stored on the middle tier, which leads to easy distribution of the information. Three-tier systems are widely used in web applications.
Peer-to-peer distribution system: Due to absence of centralized systems for handling the resources, all the operations and decision making is uniformly distributed among various machines, called as peers, which can act as a server or client. The Blockchain technology is the best example of peer-to-peer distribution system.
Client server distributed systems: When the distribution systems were introduced, their system comprised a server, which was used as a providing resource such as a database. The server had several clients that decided the time for using a resource and transferring it back to the server. In this system, the client requests the server for data and the server displays it to the end user in response. The end user has the authority to make changes from the client side and forward it to the server. Microsoft’s subsidiary, GitHub, is a good example of client-server distributed system.
Multiple-tier or n-tier distribution systems: This system was developed by enterprise web services and received wide recognition for their business logics. The servers of multi-tier systems can communicate with the presentation and data tiers together. This system is used when the server or the application is required to send information to multiple services on the network.
- Deployments of Distributed Systems
- In Telecommunication Networks
The distributed systems will be implemented on the cellular and telecommunication networks with advancements in the 5G networking. Earlier, the telecom industry was based on peer-to-peer distribution system, but their popularity has reduced in the recent years. Due to evolution of the telecom industry, the network system is about to witness advancement in its distribution. The distribution systems such as client-server and multiple-tier are expected to be implemented in the new telecom networking systems.
- In Real-time Systems
Distribution systems have real-time deployment in systems such as automated control systems of manufacturing plants, tracking systems used by e-commerce and logistics, flight control systems used by airlines industry, and the dispatch systems implemented by ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber.
- In Parallel Computing
To run an application on several processors which possess the same storage and data, parallel computing is used. Parallel computing is different when compared to a distributed system, which consists of various machines with their respective storage and processors. With wide adoption of cloud platforms and advancements in the operating systems, the distributed computing systems also support the parallel computing.
- In Local Networks
In the late 1970s, the Ethernet along with the LAN (Local Area Networks) was introduced. This was the first deployment of distributed systems, which enabled its users to send messages from one computer to another with a local IP address. Further development in the distribution systems led to the invention of e-mail service. This was followed by the emergence of the Internet, which is the ever-expanding distribution system.
- In Database Systems
The information or a database, which can be cloned and is present on various servers and locations is known as a distributed database. The distributed database can have two different natures, heterogeneous and homogenous database.
The heterogeneous distributed database can enable various data management systems and numerous database models. The data translation takes place between the application and nodes through the gateways.
When every system of database has the identical database model and data management system, it is called as a homogenous distributed database. Addition of new locations and nodes can result in easy management and better performance of the database system.
- In Artificial Intelligence
To understand and process a very large dataset with the use of various nodes, a high scale computing power along with parallel computing will be required. In such cases, the distributed artificial intelligence is implemented in the system to manage the dataset.
Apart from the above applications, the distribution systems find applications in digital banking networks, in sensor networking, and in virtual gaming services.
Any machine or system which has the ability to connect to a network, to communicate, and have a local storage can be called as a distributed system. With the transfer of requests and response between the clients and the server, the distributed systems can handle multiple requests and complete the tasks on a single network.