Transparency of RPC in Distributed Networks

In this article, we will study the Transparency of RPC in distributed Networks. Communication between different nodes is essential in a distributed network to achieve the desired functionality. RPC also called a Remote Procedure Call allows communication between different nodes or systems. RPC can be termed as a protocol that one program uses to execute the programs on remote servers as if that program was located locally. But RPC transparency is sometimes critical to the success of distributed networks.

RPC can also be defined as a function call used by one program to request a service from another program. These programs can be located on different systems in your network.


Transparency in RPC means that a program located in one node can perform the tasks on a remote server without knowing the server's location, programming language, or operating system.

The different types of RPC transparencies

Location Transparency

The location transparency of RPC executes the programs on a remote computer without the knowledge of the physical location of that computer. This allows programs to use the server's logical name, which resolves to the server's physical address.

Language Transparency

The language transparency of RPC executes the programs on a remote computer without the knowledge of the programming language used by that computer. It establishes the communication between two different language programs.

Operating System Transparency

The operating system transparency of RPC executes the programs on a remote computer without the knowledge of which operating system that computer is using. It allows programs running on different operating systems to communicate with each other.

Examples of RPC transparencies

Location Transparency

An example of location transparency in RPC is the use of the Domain Name System (DNS). Resolve logical names to IP addresses. Programs can use the logical name of the remote server, and the DNS server will resolve the logical name to the server's IP address.

Language Transparency

An example of language transparency in RPC is the use of the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). CORBA allows communication between programs that are written in different languages.

Illustrations on how RPC transparency can benefit distributed systems


RPC transparency is essential for achieving scalability in distributed systems. This allows companies to add new servers without impacting existing programs. Scalability is essential for enterprises to meet increasing user demands and workloads. The ability to scale up or down quickly is important to handle seasonal traffic spikes or sudden changes in demand.

Example: PayPal

PayPal is a company that provides services online payment systems. It uses a distributed system that depends on RPC transparency. PayPal systems process billions of transactions annually and use a highly scalable distributed architecture to achieve this. RPC transparency allows PayPal to add new servers to its architecture without compromising the user experience.


Interoperability is how different systems work together in a network. RPC transparency plays an important role in achieving interoperability in distributed systems. It enables programs to be written in different languages and executed on different operating systems, allowing companies to integrate different systems into their workflows.

Example: IBM

IBM uses remote procedure calls (RPC) to enable interoperability between different systems. IBM's mainframe systems use the z/OS operating system, but the company's newer systems run on Linux or Windows. To integrate these systems, IBM uses RPC to allow programs written in different languages to communicate with each other. This interoperability enables IBM's customers to integrate disparate systems into their workflows to the greatest benefit of their organizations.

Ease of Use

The transparency of RPC simplifies the development and maintenance of distributed systems. This allows programmers to develop distributed systems without knowing the details of remote servers, reducing the complexity of developing and maintaining these systems.

Example: Amazon Web Services

It is a cloud computing platform that relies heavily on the transparency of RPC to simplify the development and maintenance of distributed systems. These services are built on AWS' distributed infrastructure that uses RPC to enable communication between different services. This approach simplifies distributed application development and allows developers to focus on building applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.


Transparency in RPC is required for an error-free distributed network. It allows us to execute programs on remote servers without the knowledge of the server’s physical location, programming language, or operating system. RPC's transparency is a required feature of distributed systems. PayPal, IBM, and AWS few companies that depend on RPC transparency to get benefits. As organizations rely more and more on distributed systems, RPC visibility becomes increasingly important to ensure that these systems are scalable, interoperable, and easy to use.

Updated on: 12-Apr-2023


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