How would you differentiate Cloud computing vs distributed computing?

How would you differentiate Cloud computing vs distributed computing?
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IT Computer network technologies have seen tremendous enhancements. It has a few novel progressions like Distributed Computing and Cloud Computing. Here we learn more about Cloud computing vs distributed computing. Both the computing frameworks have referred to different things. But the basic idea between them is the same.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing refers to providing on-demand IT resources. Resources like servers, storage, database, networking, etc. over the internet. It is a technique that delivers hosted services over the internet to its customers.

Cloud computing helps IT infrastructures to transform into a utility. Further, this helps to enter infrastructure via the internet. It uses computing resources without installing and maintaining them on-premises.

According to Open Cirrus, Distributed computing is the use of distributed systems to solve single large problems by distributing tasks to single computers in the distributing systems. On the other hand, cloud computing is the use of network-hosted servers to do several tasks like storage, process, and management of data. Here we will give an in-depth analysis of the two.

Benefits of cloud computing

Compared to traditional on-premises IT, Cloud computing has the following benefits:

Lower IT costs:

Cloud computing allows you to offload the vast majority of the expense of buying, introducing, and many more.

Improve agility and time-to-value:

Cloud computing helps organizations to start using enterprise applications in minutes. Also, helps to sell and configure supporting hardware. Cloud lets you empower certain users’ developers and data scientists.

Scale more and cost-effectively:

Provides elasticity instead of buying excess capacity that sits unused during slow periods. It can scale capacity up and down in response to spikes and dips in traffic. You can also take advantage of your cloud provider’s global network to spread your applications closer to users around the world.

What is distributed computing?

Distributed computing is a model in which components of a software system are shared among many computers. Even though the components are spread out across various computers. The systems run as one. In addition, this is done to improve efficiency and performance.

It is limited to programs with components shared among computers within a limited geographic area. Broader definitions include shared tasks as well as program components. Distributed computing is something that is shared among many systems, which may also be in different locations. Above all, Distributed computing may also need a lot of tooling and soft skills.

Benefits of Distributed Computing

The benefits of distributed computing are as follow:


Distributed computing is flexible. In short, it completes tasks using computers in different geographical areas.


A single server can be rocked by glitches which can lead to complete systems malfunctions. With distributed computing, a single glitch cannot result to complete system failures.

Improved performance

Single computers can only perform to their best ability. But with distributed computing, you get the best from across the whole system.

Need for Distributed Computing

The rise of cloud computing options has made distributed computing even more accessible. Although cloud computing instances themselves do not enable distributed computing. There are many different types of distributed computing software that run in the cloud.

What is Distributed cloud computing?

Distributed Cloud Computing generalizes the cloud computing model to position, process, and serve data and applications. It takes from distributed sites to meet requirements for performance, redundancy, and regulations.

Distributed computing spreads computation workload across many, interconnected servers. And distributed cloud computing generalizes this to the cloud infrastructure itself. A distributed cloud is an execution environment where application components are placed. As a result, it is placed according to appropriate geographically-dispersed locations.

Such requirements include:


To enable more responsive and performant service delivery for certain types of applications. However, this applies where latency is critical and bulk data transfer to and from a central cloud is expensive.

Regulations: This may need that data never leaves the user’s country.


It helps to ensure that certain data and processes remain within an enterprise’s private cloud or data center.

The service provider ensures the end-to-end management for the optimal placement of data. Also computing processes, network interconnections. And it appears as a single solution from the cloud user’s point of view.

How Distributed Cloud Computing Works?

The key advantage of using cloud services is the ability of service users to not maintain and operate their own IT infrastructure. And shift CAPEX to OPEX by using the utility-like model of purchasing computing and storage on demand.

Distributed cloud computing provides some extra features that are open for buy. Also, users can ask that certain data remain within specific regions. In other words, we can say it as Service Level Agreements (SLA) between the user and the cloud provider.

Most importantly, the job of the cloud provider is to hide the meeting of SLA complexities.

How is cloud computing different from distributed computing?

1) Goals

The goal of Distributed Computing is to provide collaborative resources. Also, by sharing connecting users and resources.

Cloud Computing is all about delivering services in a demanding environment with targeted goals. By achieving increased scalability and transparency, security, monitoring, and management. Lastly, the services are provided with transparency. And not considering the physical implementation within the Cloud.

2) Types

Distributed Computing is classified into three types as mentioned below:

Distributed Information Systems:

The main goal of these systems is to distribute information across different servers. For instance, through various communication models like RMI and RPC.

Distributed Pervasive Systems:

It consists of embedded computing devices such as portable ECG monitors, wireless cameras, PDA’s, sensors, and mobile devices. Distributed pervasive systems are identified by their instability when compared to more “traditional” distributed systems.

Distributed Computing Systems:

In this kind of system, the computers connected within a network communicate through message passing to keep a track of their actions.

Therefore, Cloud Computing has four different types of cloud:

Private Cloud

This type of Cloud infrastructure is for a particular IT organization. For example, it hosts applications so that it can have complete control over the data without any fear of security breaches.

Public Cloud

A cloud infrastructure hosted by service providers and made available to the public. But, customers have no control or visibility about the infrastructure. For example, Google and Microsoft own and operate their own public cloud infrastructure. Most importantly, they provide access to the public through the Internet.

Community Cloud

IT organizations share several multi-tenant cloud infrastructures.

Hybrid Cloud

A combination of 2 or more different types of the above-mentioned clouds forms the Hybrid cloud infrastructure. In addition, each cloud remains as a single entity but, the combination of all the clouds provides the advantage of many deployment models.

Difference between distributed computing and cloud computing in tabular form


Is cloud computing centralized or distributed?

Firstly, Cloud computing provides organizations access to infrastructure, platforms, and application services. Which are running in centralized or distributed environments. Certainly, it allows system owners to use operating capacity, processing, and data storage offered by the cloud provider.

Service level agreements established with cloud computing providers specify availability targets. Also, measures the other performance measures. On the other hand, the potential for outages affecting cloud computing services exists.

So, it determines whether those capabilities are enough to meet contingency requirements for the IT


In conclusion, Distributed Systems and Cloud Computing Systems relate to distinct entities. Although the principle behind both is the same. A strong understanding of the distributed systems helps to better grasp the ideas for each of them. And knowledge of how they vary from the centralized computer.

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