According to Andrew Tanenbaum, a Distributed System is a collection of independent computers that appear to the users as a single coherent system
The term middleware applies to a software layer that provides a programming abstraction as well as masking the heterogeneity of the underlying networks, hardware, operating systems and programming languages. Examples: RMI, CORBA, DCOM
Concurrency: In a network of computers, concurrent program execution is the norm. The capacity of the system to handle shared resources can be increased by adding more resources (for example. computers) to the network
No Global Clock: When programs need to cooperate they coordinate their actions by exchanging messages. But it turns out that there are limits to the accuracy with which the computers in a network can synchronize their clocks – there is no single global notion of the correct time.
Independent Failures: Faults in the network result in the isolation of the computers that are connected to it, but that doesn’t mean that they stop running. In fact, the programs on them may not be able to detect whether the network has failed or has become unusually slow. Similarly, the failure of a computer, or the unexpected termination of a program somewhere in the system (a crash), is not immediately made known to the other components with which it communicates
Massively Multiplayer Online Games: The engineering of MMOGs represents a major challenge particularly because of the need for fast response times to preserve the user experience of the game. Eve II is one of the largest MMOG played in the year 2013.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. The company is known for its control by investor Warren Buffett, who is the company's chairman, president and CEO and is the largest financial services companies by revenue in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_financial_services_companies_by_revenue
Refer the above Figure from the textbook
SETI@Home: SETI@home ("SETI at home") is an Internet-based public volunteer computing project employing the BOINC software platform, hosted by the Space Sciences Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States. SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Its purpose is to analyze radio signals, searching for signs of extra terrestrial intelligence, and is one of many activities undertaken as part of SETI. www.seti.org
The modern Internet is a vast interconnected collection of computer networks with many different types, with the range of types increasing all the time. For instance, a wide range of wireless communication technologies such as WiFi, WiMAX, Bluetooth and third-generation mobile phone networks. The net result is that networking has become a pervasive resource and devices can be connected (if desired) at any time and in any place
A backbone is a network link with a high transmission capacity, employing satellite connections, fibre optic cables and other high-bandwidth circuits
Students can research on varied ways of interconnecting these devices
Ubiquitous computing is the harnessing of many small, cheap computational devices that are present in users’ physical environments, including the home, office and even natural settings. The term ‘ubiquitous’ is intended to suggest that small computing devices will eventually become so pervasive in everyday objects that they are scarcely noticed. That is, their computational behaviour will be transparently and intimately tied up with their physical function.
Students can read more on the above figure from the text book
Webcasting is the ability to broadcast continuous media, typically audio or video, over the Internet. It is now commonplace for major sporting or music events to be broadcast in this way, often attracting large numbers of viewers (for example, the Live8 concert in 2005 attracted around 170,000 simultaneous users at its peak).
Cloud Computing: A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Cluster computing: is a set of interconnected computers that cooperate closely to provide a single, integrated high performance computing capability
Cluster Computing: is a set of interconnected computers that cooperate closely to provide a single, integrated high performance computing capability
Students can research more on it at now.cs.berkeley.edu & www.beowulf.org
Computer Supported Cooperative Working (CSCW), a group of users who cooperate directly share resources such as documents in a small, closed group