Saturday, May 19, 2018

BLOCKCHAIN INTERVIEW QUESTIONS PART 8 - How blockchain is different from traditional architecture

Background - The Rising Interest in Distributed Ledger Technologies

Mainframe computers are largely centralized. They typically house all computing power, memory, data storage, and code. Access to mainframes is mainly by 'dumb terminals', which only take inputs and outputs, and do not store or process data.

With the advent of personal computers and private networks, similar computational capabilities were now housed both on the clients, as well as the servers. This, in part, gave rise to the 'client-server' architecture. Massive data sets, which are housed on mainframes, could move onto a distributed architecture. 

Over time, Internet and cloud computing architectures enabled global access from a variety of computing devices. Even though this 'cloud architecture' is decentralized in terms of hardware, it has given rise to application-level centralization (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.).

Currently, we are witnessing the transition from centralized computing, storage, and processing to decentralized architectures and systems.

Distributed ledger technology is one of the key innovations making this shift possible.

Peer-to-Peer Network Architecture

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks consist of computer systems which are directly connected to each other via the Internet, without a central server.

P2P networks are generally considered to be more secure than centralized networks, as they do not have a single point of attack, as in the case of a server-based network, where the security of the entire network can be compromised if the central server is successfully attacked.

Permissionless P2P systems do not require a set amount of peers to be online and are generally slower.

Permissioned P2P networks have to guarantee uptime and require a high level of quality of service on the communication links.


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