Browse Definitions:
Definition

distributed

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Distributed, in an information technology (IT) context, means that something is shared among multiple systems which may also be in different locations. 

In distributed computing, processing and data are spread out over multiple computers, usually over a network. Years ago -- prior to low-cost computer power on the desktop -- computing was organized in centralized "glass houses" (so-called because the computers were often shown to visitors through picture windows). Today, most enterprises locate applications and data where they can operate most efficiently, to some mix of desktop workstations, local area network servers, regional servers, Web servers, and other servers. 

The cloud model, in which data and applications are served to users over the Internet, is a  particular implementation of distributed computing, as is grid computing, in which large numbers of often geographically dispersed systems work together to perform compute-intensive tasks. 

The Distributed Computing Environment (DCE), a standard developed in the early 1990s, was influential for subsequent distribution models. Current models for distributed computing include client-server, clustered, n-tier and peer-to-peer (P2P).  

A few examples of distributed systems:

In a distributed database, portions of the database are stored on multiple computers within a network. Users have access to the portion of the database at their location so that they can access the data relevant to their tasks without interfering with the work of others.

A distributed antenna system (DAS) is a network of relatively small antennas installed throughout a building to serve as repeaters. A DAS is designed to overcome the problem of isolated spots of poor coverage inside a large building.

Distributed learning systems involve remote instructional delivery that may include Web-based content, streaming video, videoconferencing and other combinations of electronic and traditional educational models.

A distributed file system (DFS) is a client/server-based application that allows clients to access and process data stored on the server as if it were on their own computer.

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a DoS attack in which a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service for users of the targeted system.

This was last updated in February 2015

Continue Reading About distributed

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

  • NVMe (non-volatile memory express)

    NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a host controller interface and storage protocol to enable a solid-state drive to use the ...

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close