Distributed Database

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What Does Distributed Database Mean?

A distributed database is a type of database configuration that consists of loosely-coupled repositories of data. In a traditional database config all storage devices are attached to the same server, often because they are in the same physical location. A distributed database works as a single database system, even though the database hardware is run by by many devices in different locations.

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Techopedia Explains Distributed Database

The big issue with distributed databases is how to keep them current and in sync. In other words, how does replication get carried out, and how does referential integrity get maintained? A master/slave relationship is a big part of this. To simplify, a database is selected as the master, which is used during the replication process for other databases, which are designated slaves. During replication, specialized software is used to scan and check each database for inconsistencies and changes, which, once found, are replicated so that all databases look the same. This process can be complex and time-consuming as the database grows in number and size.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.