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A distributed network is a type of computer network that is spread over different networks. This provides a single data communication network, which can be managed jointly or separately by each network. Besides shared communication within the network, a distributed network often also distributes processing.
Distributed networks are part of distributed computing architecture, in which enterprise IT infrastructure resources are divided over a number of networks, processors and intermediary devices. A distributed network is powered by network management software, which manages and monitors data routing, combining and allocating network bandwidth, access control and other core networking processes.
Distributed networks and processing work together to deliver specialized applications to different remote users. This means that an application may be hosted and executed from a single machine but accessed by many others. A client/server computing architecture is an example of a distributed network where the server is the producer of a resource and many interconnected remote users are the consumers who access the application from different networks.