3. Why use a distributed database?

Many organisations have branches and offices located across the country or even the world.

For example

  • A travel company with many branches across the country
  • An international car maker with dealers across the world
  • A supermarket stock system with many branches

It may be that each branch only needs to access their own data 90% of the time and only occasionally have a need to access remote information. On the other hand the central office needs to have an up to date version of all the data as well.

With a single central database, all queries and updates have to travel across a network. This may cause a heavy load on the system. It also means if the central database breaks or the network goes down, the entire organisation is affected.

A distributed database solves some of these issues.

With a distributed database, the central database is updated over night as a batch operation, but day-to-day work in the branches is carried out using the local portion of the database. If the network fails, then they can carry on as normal until it is fixed.


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