Ben Cantrick (mackys) wrote,
Ben Cantrick
mackys

[Reddit] Why distributed systems programming is hard.


A less optimistic explanation of the failure of each attempt at [distributed systems programming tools] holds that any such attempt will fail for the simple reason that programming distributed applications is not the same as programming non-distributed applications. Just making the communications paradigm the same as the language paradigm is insufficient to make programming distributed programs easier, because communicating between the parts of a distributed application is not the difficult part of that application.

The hard problems in distributed computing are not the problems of how to get things on and off the wire. The hard problems in distributed computing concern dealing with partial failure and the lack of a central resource manager. The hard problems in distributed computing concern insuring adequate performance and dealing with problems of concurrency. The hard problems have to do with differences in memory access paradigms between local and distributed entities. People attempting to write distributed applications quickly discover that they are spending all of their efforts in these areas and not on the communications protocol programming interface.


http://research.sun.com/techrep/1994/abstract-29.html
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