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Distributed computing refers to a computer science field that researches distributed systems. A distributed system includes various computers that connect and communicate by means of a computer network. The computers communicate with one another to accomplish a common goal.
Distributed computer systems include several software components that are installed in various computers but operate as an individual system. The computers operating in a distributed system can be physically close and connected using a local network. Or, they can be geographically distant and connected using a wide area network.
Distributed systems include various possible configurations, such as personal computers, mainframes, minicomputers, workstations, etc. A computer program that operates in a distributed system is known as a distributed program, whereas the procedure for writing such programs are called distributed programming.
Distributed systems provide several benefits compared to centralized systems. These include:
Distributed computing systems could operate on hardware provided by multiple vendors. It can make use of many different standards-based software components. These systems are self-sufficient and do not rely too much on the fundamental software. They are able to use a variety of communications protocols as well as operate on multiple operating systems. In order to carry out inter-machine communications, they use TCP/IP or SNA on Ethernet or Token Ring.
Computers used in distributed computing make use of a client-server model.