Centralized data processing is computer processing that takes place in a single server or CPU. The data management, data storage and computation are handled by a mainframe computer or single high-processing machine.

Different types of clients are connected to a single central server. The clients which are connected to the centralized server are smartphones, laptops, tablets or desktop computers. The processing speed in centralized data processing depends upon the processor speed, RAM used and hard drive type.

To make the data processing faster, SSD is used for data storage. The central server is more secure than other computers because the CPU uses the latest hardware and software.

Different users from different locations connect to the central server for data retrieval, analysis, and storage of documents. For example, if a form is displayed on any government website then users submit the form and that form data is then stored in the government central server. The government officials use the form data later.

The problem with centralized data processing is that when many users access the data at one time, data processing becomes high and the system may stop working. For example, an education department has a central server. Upon the announcement of the result, many students connect to the server to see their marks. On this day, the server gets too many requests and it stops responding.

Centralized vs. decentralized data processing

In centralized data processing, there is only one server connected to one or more clients. In decentralized data processing, there are multiple servers connected to multiple users. For example, there is a big database, and now that database is divided into smaller pieces. Each decentralized server gives database information to the specific users who need it.

In decentralized data processing, data synchronization is used. If data is updated in one decentralized server then the same data is stored in all the connected servers.

The cost of managing centralized data processing is low as compared to decentralized data processing. This is because single-machine expense is lower than buying multiple machines.

Examples of centralized data processing

Some examples of centralized data processing are:-

  • Wikipedia website uses centralized data processing in which one server gives information to millions of client computers
  • Small organizations, stores, and education departments use centralized data processing
  • Medium-level companies also use centralized data processing
  • Libraries use centralized databases for storing book information
  • Cloud computing also uses centralized data processing e.g. Google Cloud, Azure and AWS.
  • Banks also use centralized data processing for storing customer’s transactions history and managing credit cards

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