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Distributed Database System: Exercise 1

Exercise 1.1: Discussion

Please answer briefly

1. What is a distributed database management system?

2. What is the benefit of distribution?

3. What is the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous distributed database management systems?

4. What are the main characteristics of P2P systems?

5. Which sharing architectures are usually used in distributed database systems? What distinguishes them?

6. Which sharing architecture uses OceanStore? (


1. A Distributed Database Management System is a collection of data which is distributed among different sites and the update or query routine of the data is managed by communicating between sites who have the data that is being updated or queried.

2. Performance – Data could be queried quickly since the data is stored in a distributed fashion (as example, regional-based distribution). The management system could search the data in a particular region which the data is being queried instead of traversing all the data altogether. It also supports multiple-queries from different sites.
Cost & Scalability – Data could be expanded in multiple different sites or a new site easily. Hardware cost to store data could be reduce since we could use a normal hardrive to expand data storage.
Reliability – Data could be replicated in various site to ensure data integrity whenever an accident happened.
Availability – Downtime or failure in a particular site will not impact the other site, which mean we can maintain data availability on other site while the downed site is being recovered.

3. In homogeneous distributed database management system, all sites have the same functionality to access a data storage. The system is composed of similar sites and database management system in the sense that it has the same data model and schema in every site. However, heterogeneous distributed database management system structured differently. The system is composed of different sites with different system, data model, and schema. This heterogeneity in the system usually exist in a legacy system where there is a need of an agent system to interpret global queries, relationships between objects in different databases, and global integrity.

4. The main characteristics of a P2P system are:

  • P2P networks/ nodes do not have specialized servers
  • All/ many nodes store data and provide access
  • Limited information on the network Node only knows its direct neighbour with no centralized coordination or global knowledge.

5. The sharing architecture that usually used in the distributed database system is the cloud system. Many companies demand for cheaper data storage and application service to do their tasks. This could be costly if they have to hire several programmers to develop several application. Not to discount the hardware cost of setting up such application and data storage. Therefore, the cloud system is a breakthrough architecture which enable the user to:

  • Not own the physical infrastructure (zero hardware cost)
  • pay resource or data storage as they use (efficient data cost)
  • Single point access to application or data storage
  • select application or service offerings that meet their requirements.

6. OceanStore uses Shared Nothing architecture since any computer can join the infrastructure and contributing storage or providing local user access. Therefore, the users only need to figure out the bandwidth among themselves (transparently…).

  1. Nyla
    February 15, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Gee.. Thanks for the answers. 🙂

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