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Distributed Systems
Nearly all large software systems are necessarily distributed. For example, enterprise-wide business systems must support multiple users running common applications across different sites. A distributed system encompasses these applications, their underlying support software, the hardware they run on, and the communication links which connect the distributed hardware. The largest and best-known distributed system is the set of computers, software, and services comprising the Internet/World Wide Web, which is so pervasive that it coexists with and connects to most other existing distributed systems. The most common distributed systems are networked client server systems. It is not easy to give an exact definition of a distributed system – this is the reason why many definitions exist. As an example let’s take one of the oldest, one of the most precise, and the most funny definitions: “A distributed system is a collection of independent computers that appear to the users of the system as a single computer.” – Tanenbaum, Enslow “A distributed system is a system designed to support the development of applications and services which can exploit a physical architecture consisting of multiple, autonomous processing elements that do not share primary memory but cooperate by sending asynchronous messages over a communication network” – Blair & Stefani “A distributed system is one that stops you getting any work done when a machine you’ve never even heard of crashes” – Leslie Lamport Fig.1.A small distributed system. [Sources: lecture: distributed systems, 1.Introduction, Laszlo Böszörmenyi; Encyclopedia of Computer Science, Fourth Edition, Anthony Ralston, Edwin D.Reilly, David Hemmendinger]
 

 

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