While going through learning hadoop and spark, I came across "distributed data processing" and "distributed computing".

Could you let me know if they both are same or referring to different concepts?

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    – gnat
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 20:02
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    See Distributed Computing on Wikipedia. "Distributed Information Processing" redirects there. For your purposes, you can probably consider them the same thing. However, if you like, Distributed Data Processing is the act of using Distributed Computing to process data. Commented May 6, 2020 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


In short

Although in theory there could be a subtle difference, in practice both terms refer to the same concept.

In long

According to wikipedia:

Computing is any activity that uses computers to manage, process, and communicate information.


Data processing is, generally, "the collection and manipulation of items of data to produce meaningful information." (...) it can be considered a subset of information processing

According to these definitions, data processing could be seen as a subset of computing.

However both terms were historically used interchangeably until a recent past. Because the root of computing is latin and means calculating, since early use of computers were mostly numeric calculation. So, in the early days making calculations or processing (mostly numeric) data was practically the same activity.

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