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Peer to Peer Computing
The peer to peer computing architecture contains nodes that are equal participants in data sharing. All the tasks are equally divided between all the nodes. The nodes interact with each other as required as share resources.
A diagram to better understand peer to peer computing is as follows −
Characteristics of Peer to Peer Computing
The different characteristics of peer to peer networks are as follows −
- Peer to peer networks are usually formed by groups of a dozen or less computers. These computers all store their data using individual security but also share data with all the other nodes.
- The nodes in peer to peer networks both use resources and provide resources. So, if the nodes increase, then the resource sharing capacity of the peer to peer network increases. This is different than client server networks where the server gets overwhelmed if the nodes increase.
- Since nodes in peer to peer networks act as both clients and servers, it is difficult to provide adequate security for the nodes. This can lead to denial of service attacks.
- Most modern operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS contain software to implement peer to peer networks.
Advantages of Peer to Peer Computing
Some advantages of peer to peer computing are as follows −
- Each computer in the peer to peer network manages itself. So, the network is quite easy to set up and maintain.
- In the client server network, the server handles all the requests of the clients. This provision is not required in peer to peer computing and the cost of the server is saved.
- It is easy to scale the peer to peer network and add more nodes. This only increases the data sharing capacity of the system.
- None of the nodes in the peer to peer network are dependent on the others for their functioning.
Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Computing
Some disadvantages of peer to peer computing are as follows −
- It is difficult to backup the data as it is stored in different computer systems and there is no central server.
- It is difficult to provide overall security in the peer to peer network as each system is independent and contains its own data.
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