In the computing world, the term ‘distributed architecture’ signifies a system of different software components that are run as a single entity. Think of it like a soccer team, with all players positioned at different locations around the field, while working together towards a common goal. It’s the opposite of centralized architecture, which is more like an orchestra in which players must sit together to create the music.
Video technology provider Pexip is a believer in distributed architecture when it comes to collaboration tools in organizations. This approach makes it possible to create geographically dispersed nodes, or places of connection within communication networks, in a way that best suits an organization’s locations and traffic demands.
Distributed architecture is not exactly a new thing to the average IT department, but organizations aren’t always aware of all the benefits that it provides – things like improved scalability, performance, cost savings and resiliency.
This image shows the distributed architecture of a typical video conferencing conference with employees connecting through Australia, New York and Oslo.
Distributed architecture saves money
Cost savings is a common driver for establishing a distributed architecture. By setting up multiple nodes, you can route traffic through the nearest node instead of relying on more simple call trafficking rules - like all participants connect to the node closest to the first person to join the call. Bandwidth consumption on WAN networks can be very expensive, with transatlantic costs especially high. With Pexip, nodes can be placed within your internal network to reduce the cost of the traffic on WAN networks.
An added cost-saving feature from Pexip comes from our media transcoding. Media streams coming back from Pexip are reduced in size as they travel between nodes. Since Pexip handles the compute, you’re left with a more efficient media traffic flow that costs less.
Reduced traffic between participants is another cost savings area, thanks to our transcoding technology. Pexip uses transcoding so we send one transcoded stream containing all participants to the meeting room device or computer. Other video conferencing solutions send individual streams for each participant, requiring an increased amount of CPU required to process all of the streams. This means that Pexip performs better on older or more limited devices.
Increase the resilience of your communications network
Distributed architecture means that your entire deployment is more resilient. Even if an individual node is compromised or has technical problems, the overall function of the network won’t be heavily impacted. Since functionality is duplicated with other nodes, traffic can simply be rerouted to the remaining nodes and communication can continue as normal.
The distribution also provides resiliency against cyber-attacks. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are often targeted at centralized networks and firewalls. If a centralized communication system is impacted, the result is catastrophic. In a distributed system, an attack on one location means that media could be rerouted to other non-impacted areas. This results in a more reliable and resilient deployment.
Easier to maintain and upgrade
A decentralized system is also easier to maintain and upgrade since adding or replacing hardware within individual nodes is less complex than performing an upgrade or maintenance on an entire centralized server system.
Pexip’s unique distributed architecture helps to ensure that your organization is able to communicate at the most critical times. Learn more about our secure communications solutions with Pexip.
- Meet & collaborate securely
- Secure meetings
- Secure collaboration
- Business continuity