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Distributed applications are often built from sets of distributed components that must be co-ordinated in order to achieve some global behaviour. The common approach is to use a centralised controller for co-ordination, or occasionally a set of distributed entities. Centralised co-ordination is simpler but introduces a single point of failure and poses problems of scalability. Distributed co-ordination offers greater scalability, reliability and applicability but is harder to reason about and requires more complex algorithms for synchronisation and consensus among components.
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