Distributed Database Architecture

The transfer of data for storage at various computers or locations connected over a network is known as a distributed database. It may alternatively be described as a database that gathers information from several databases using independent computers linked by data communication connections. Compared to centralized database systems, distributed databases can offer higher availability and dependability. This is so that the system can continue to function even if one or more sites go down. A distributed database system can perform more effectively by distributing the burden and using the information across several sites.

Design Considerations for Distributed Databases

Data Partitioning

In data partitioning, the database is split up into smaller units, or fragments, and distributed across other nodes. The two types of data partitioning are:

Horizontal Fragmentation: The relation is divided into groups of tuples in horizontal fragmentation, with each tuple given to at least one fragment. As a result, requests may be processed in parallel and resources can be used effectively.

Vertical Fragmentation: This process includes breaking the relation's schema into smaller schemas. A common candidate key must be present in each fragment for a lossless join to occur. When distinct aspects of the connection have different access patterns or when data privacy considerations necessitate the separation of sensitive information, vertical fragmentation might be advantageous.


Replication includes keeping copies of the data across many distributed database nodes. Replication aims to increase performance, fault tolerance, and data availability. Any node that has a copy of the necessary data may perform a query when it is run, decreasing latency and speeding up response time. The different replication strategies are:

Full replication: It ensures high availability but comes with high storage and update expense as entire copies of the database must be kept at all nodes. Partial replication: It chooses which data pieces to repeat depending on data relevance or access patterns.

Multi−master replication: Better speed and fault tolerance are provided by multi−master replication, which enables many nodes to accept read and write operations.

Consistency and Concurrency Control

In a distributed database, maintaining consistency across numerous nodes is a challenging problem. Conflicts that result in inconsistent data might happen when many transactions are being carried out simultaneously. Distributed databases use a variety of concurrency control techniques, such as locking, timestamp ordering, or optimistic concurrency control, to assure consistency.

Network Communication and Latency

The ability to communicate over a network is essential in distributed database systems. To get the best performance and availability, low−latency networks and effective communication protocols are necessary. For distributed database architecture, minimizing the quantity of data sent over the network and enhancing data transfer rates are crucial factors.

Security and Privacy

Given that distributed databases contain data across several nodes that may be scattered geographically, security is a crucial component. Additional security issues, such as data privacy, authentication, access control, and encryption are brought on by the distributed architecture of the database. To secure sensitive data and guarantee obedience to rules and privacy policies, strong security measures must be put in place.

Distributed Database Architecture

Client−Server Architecture

A common method for spreading database functionality is the client−server architecture. Clients communicate with a central server, which controls the distributed database system, in this design. The server is in charge of maintaining data storage, controlling access, and organizing transactions. This architecture has several clients and servers connected. A client sends a query and the server which is available at the earliest would help solve it. This Architecture is simple to execute because of the centralised server system.

Peer−to−Peer Architecture

Each node in the distributed database system may function as both a client and a server in a peer−to−peer architecture. Each node is linked to the others and works together to process and store data. Each node is in charge of managing its data management and organizing node−to−node interactions. Because the loss of a single node does not cause the system to collapse, peer−to−peer systems provide decentralized control and high fault tolerance. This design is ideal for distributed systems with nodes that can function independently and with equal capabilities.

Federated Architecture

Multiple independent databases with various types are combined into a single meta−database using a federated database design. It offers a uniform interface for navigating and exploring distributed data. In the federated design, each site maintains a separate, independent database, while the virtual database manager internally distributes requests. When working with several data sources or legacy systems that can't be simply updated, federated architectures are helpful.

Shared−Nothing Architecture

Data is divided up and spread among several nodes in a shared−nothing architecture, with each node in charge of a particular portion of the data. Resources are not shared across nodes, and each node runs independently. Due to the system's capacity to add additional nodes as needed without affecting the current nodes, this design offers great scalability and fault tolerance. Large−scale distributed systems, such as data warehouses or big data analytics platforms, frequently employ shared−nothing designs.


This article consists of distributed database architecture. Distributed database refers to the distribution of data to get stored at different computers or sites that are interlinked to each other by a network. Design considerations for distributed databases are data partitioning, replication, consistency and concurrency control, network communication, and security and privacy. The distributed database contains Client−server architecture which spread database functionality, peer−to−peer architecture in which each node function as client and server, and federated architecture refers to the combination of the different database into a single database. Shared nothing architecture refers to the data division among several nodes.

Updated on: 14-Jul-2023

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