A distributed computing system is a collection of independent computers linked by a computer network that appear to the users of the system as a single coherent system.
There are several advantages and disadvantages of distributed computing system which can be explained as follows:
Advantages of Distributed Computing
The important advantage of distributed computing system is reliability. It is more reliable than a single system. If one machine from system crashes, the rest of the computers remain unaffected and the system can survive as a whole.
In distributed computing the computer power can be added in small increments i.e. new machines can be added incrementally as per requirements on processing power grow.
Sharing of Resources
Shared data is required to many applications such as banking, reservation system and computer-supported cooperative work. As data or resources are shared in distributed system, it is essential for various applications.
As the system is very flexible, it is very easy to install, implement and debug new services. Each service is equally accessible to every client remote or local.
A distributed computing system can have more computing power than a mainframe. Its speed makes it different than other systems.
As it is open system, it can communicate with other systems at anytime. Because of an open system it has an advantage over self-contained system as well as closed system.
It is yet another advantage of distributed computing system. The collection of processors in the system can provide higher performance than a centralized computer.
Disadvantages of Distributed Computing
Troubleshooting and diagnosing problems are the most important disadvantages of distributed computing system. The analysis may require connecting to remote nodes or checking communication between nodes.
Less software support is the main disadvantage of distributed computing system. Because of more software components that comprise a system there is a chance of error occurring.
The underlying network in distributed computing system can cause several problems such as transmission problem, overloading, loss of messages. Hence, the problems created by network infrastructure are the disadvantages of distributed computing.
The easy distributed access in distributed computing system which increases the risk of security. The sharing of data creates the problem of data security.