(Answer) (Category) distributed.net Faq-O-Matic : (Category) The keymaster and keyservers : (Answer) How exactly does all this work?
The distributed.net distributed computing project is built around a pyramid architecture of keyservers and clients. At the top is the master keyserver. It keeps track of which data blocks (keys for RC5 projects and stubs for OGR) have been sent out to be checked, which have been checked and returned and which ones remain to be checked. Below the master keyserver are the main proxy keyservers. They serve as intermediaries between the clients and the master keyserver. The proxy keyservers request blocks of data from the master keyserver. Clients then request data blocks from the proxy keyservers. Clients return checked blocks to the proxy keyservers which in turn send them on to the master keyserver. In this way many keyservers are available to distribute blocks without the risk that the same block might be handed out twice. The use of proxy keyservers together with round-robin DNS also provides a certain amount of fault tolerance. If a given proxy keyserver fails the clients will automatically switch to another one with no interruption of service.

There is another level of server that can optionally exist below the proxy keyservers. These are the personal proxy keyservers (or pproxies). The pproxies request standard blocks from the proxy keyservers and then turn around and hand them out to clients. Pproxies are typically used as a method of distributing blocks through firewalls. They are also maintained by some teams. All team members operate through a single pproxy so that the team can use the pproxy log files to generate team statistics independent of the main statistics. This helps to ease the load on the stats server and gives the team some freedom to pick what information they want to track and how they want it displayed.

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