7.1.7 – Compare a centrally controlled system with a distributed system

Centrally Controlled System

“Centralized computing is a type of computing architecture where all or most of the processing/computing is performed on a central server. Centralized computing enables the deployment of all of a central server’s computing resources, administration and management. The central server, in turn, is responsible for delivering application logic, processing and providing computing resources (both basic and complex) to the attached client machines.” Techopedia.com


Distributed Computer System

“Distributed computing is a computing concept that, in its most general sense, refers to multiple computer systems working on a single problem. In distributed computing, a single problem is divided into many parts, and each part is solved by different computers. As long as the computers are networked, they can communicate with each other to solve the problem. If done properly, the computers perform like a single entity.”


Advantages of Distributed Systems

  • Economics: a collection of microprocessors offer a better price/performance than mainframes.
  • Low price/performance ratio: cost effective way to increase computing
  • Speed: a distributed system may have more total computing power than a mainframe.
  • Inherent distribution: Some applications are inherently distributed. Ex. a supermarket chain.
  • Reliability: If one machine crashes, the system as a whole can still survive.
  • Incremental growth: Computing power can be added in small increments (Modular expandability)
  • Another deriving force: the existence of large number of personal computers, the need for people to collaborate and share information.