Home > Distribution > Distributed Computing, what is it used for ?

Distributed Computing, what is it used for ?

It s been quite a bit since I last blogged here, and I ve been busy looking for a job, fixing my little game engine, and writing prototypes erlang for the network side of it. Since I plan to implement quickly some type of distribution, it is useful to have a look at existing distributed applications and protocols, and how they are used and loved ( or not ) by people out there…

But I am talking about total, complete, distribution, meaning peer-to-peer distribution. No central servers, ie. no central point of failure, or slow-downs.

So first lets make a quick list of things, that might be worth looking into :
bittorent, which has been around for quite a while. ( the tracker can be the server, however it is just required temporarily… )
BOINC, which is right now probably the most used distributed platform ( do they need servers ? )
erlang_OTP, which apparently can be used to write and run completely distributed applications.
Git and Bazaar, Distributed CVS : only data is distributed, not the actual computation effort. However the distribution is complete here. Server or not, everything still works…
– still need to have a look at Mozart

Mmmm after a quick look, completely distributed applications arent really wide spread… After all the problem is still an open one and there are still lots of research being done.

Famous applications, that may look distributed, such as Twitter for example, actually arent using anything more than the usual client-server architecture, and therefore require a server… However some might be distributable among different servers, without bottleneck effect : Can ejabberd be completely distributed for example ?
Any other ideas ?

In the following posts I ll have a look at how these applications works to help me write prototypes of distributed, server-less, code. My first application is likely to be a chat-like, probably similar to twitter, as it can use XMPP, and has pretty simple commands. Let’s see what I can come up with 😉

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