20 - Data Processing Architectures

Answers to exercises

How does client/server differ from cloud computing?


What are the disadvantages of personal databases?

There is a danger of repetition and redundancy, the same application may be developed and the same data may be stored in many different systems. The data on the systems are also not readily shareable. The data may not be as reliable and may not be updated as often as desirable. The databases are not always secure nor are they always backed up. When the user is no longer in charge of the database, the application and data are often lost because they are not documented or the organization does not realize they exist. Finally, some individuals may spend more time fiddling with the database and not getting their assigned work done.

In terms of a hybrid architecture, what does transparency mean?

Transparency in the context of a hybrid architecture is that the user sees the database system as a seamless system that readily provides needed information. The location of the data, the storage format, and the access method should be invisible to the user.

In terms of a hybrid architecture, what does DBMS independence mean?

DBMS independence refers to the ability to set an organizational standard for DBMSs and allow the local sites to utilize whatever DBMS they want as long as it confirms to the organizational standard. For instance, the standard may be a relational database that uses standard SQL in which case several different DBMSs can be used that fit this requirement.

A university professor is about to develop a large simulation model for describing the global economy. The model uses data from 65 countries to simulate alternative economic policies and their possible outcomes. In terms of volume, the data requirements are quite modest, but the mathematical model is very complex, and there are many equations that must be solved for each quarter the model is run. What data processing/data storage architecture would you recommend?

Remote job entry allows the professor to manage her data locally while executing the complex model remotely.

A university wants to teach a specialized data management topic to its students every semester. It will take about two weeks to cover the topic, and during this period students will need access to a small high performance computing cluster on which the necessary software is installed. The software is Linux-based. Investigate three cloud computing offerings and make a recommendation as to which one the university should use.

Students should investigate the options offered by firms such as Amazon web services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. Because of the changing nature of these offerings, the answer keeps changing, but students should consider the ability to create a short-term cluster, ease of software installation, ease of access, ease of use by students, and cost.

This page is part of the promotional and support material for Data Management (sixth edition) by Richard T. Watson
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Date revised: 19-Oct-2016