Monolithic computing is the simplest form of computing. A single computer such as personal computer is used for computing. The computer that does monolithic computing is not connected to any network.
There are two types: single user monolithic computing and multi-user monolithic computing.
Single user monolithic computing
In this type of computing, the computer is used by only one user at a time. The computer can use resources only within its immediate access. Applications such as spreadsheet or word processing program practise this form of computing.
Multi-user monolithic computing
In this type of computing, multiple users can share the resources using a technique called timesharing. Usually mainframe is used to proved the centralized resource. Users can access mainframe system through terminals. Applications such as payroll and billing practise this form of computing.
Distributed Computing is performed among many computers connected via network. Each computer has one more processor and other resources. User’s workstation is connected to local computer so that the user can fully use resources on that computer. Moreover the user can access resources on the remote computers via network. Example for this type is World Wide Web.
Parallel computing or parallel processing uses multiple processors at the same time to execute a single program. This type of computing can exhibit its full potential only when the program can be split into many pieces so that each CPU can execute a portion. This is typically performed on a single computer having multiple CPUs. Parallel processing is useful for solving computing-intensive problems. So it is used in areas such as biology, airspace and semiconductor design.