Pos/355 Failures

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Failures
POS/355
Due: April 15th, 2013
Instructor: Ellis Hodgdon

Introduction:
First off to start the assignment only requires writing about four different types of failures that can happen on a distributed system, however there are many more than just four types of failures that can happen and they are all important to learn about if you are going to work with a distributed system so that you know how to deal with and handle each one of them. Failures are important to know about that way if they do happen you know the steps to take to resolve and fix them in a timely manner. The more you know about failures, the less likely they are to cause severe problems to your computer or network. It is also important to know that failures can happen on both a centralized system and a distributed system.

Definition of a Centralized System:
A centralized system is a computer that is by itself. An example of a centralized system would be a home computer that is not part of a network. These days many homes have multiple computers that are connected to a home network which is a distributed system. However I myself have only 1 computer in my house and this is a centralized system as it isn’t connected to a network.

Definition of a Distributed System:
A distributed system is basically two or more computers that have their own processors and memory that are linked together through a network such as a WAN or LAN. These computers can communicate with each other through the network and are able to share resources such as the ability to use the same printer to print documents. The computers in a distributed system can also communicate with each other and share files and do quite a bit of other things as well.

Definition of Failures:
A failure happens when a piece of equipment such as the hardware or software on a computer aren’t working properly. When the computer isn’t working properly, it can cause problems such as data loss, reduced production rate, reduced performance, incapable of functioning, or other problems as there are many other types of problems that can happen. When a failure occurs it is important to find out what the problem is, research what caused the problem, and come up with a solution to fix the problem. There are many types of failures that can happen when working with a computer and some of these types of failure I will address below. Failures can happen to both: a computer that is on a distributed system, or a computer that is on a centralized system. It’s important to know how to handle a failure should it happen.

Failures:
The four failures that I’m going to talk about are the four most common failures. The reason that I’m choosing these four types of failures is because they tend to present themselves the most and are dealt with often when on a distributed system. It only seems logical to talk about them because they are the most common types of failures. The four types of common failure are: hardware failure, failure of a link, failure of a site, and the loss of a message. These four types of failures can cause problems for the distributed system and are failures that you would want to prevent from happening; of course you want to prevent any of the other failures from happening as well.

Hardware Failure: This is caused by a piece of hardware on the system malfunctioning, not working properly, or not working at all. A hardware failure can consist of hardware such as a hard disk drive, graphics card, sound card, memory chip, cd/dvd/blu-ray write/re-writeable drives, or many other types of hardware. Hardware failure can happen on both a distributed system and a centralized system. As we discussed earlier a distributed system is a system in which each computer has its own processor and memory and is connected through a network. A centralized system is a stand-alone computer that is not part of a network. Hardware failure is prone to happen on...
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