ArrowLeft Icon

Understanding Remote Procedure Call (RPC) in Distributed Computing

📆 · ⏳ 2 min read · · 👀


Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is a widely used communication protocol in distributed computing systems. The protocol enables two applications running on different machines to communicate with each other.

In other words, RPC allows a client application to invoke a procedure on a remote server as if it were a local procedure.

The protocol provides a simple way to build distributed systems, where services or functions are distributed across multiple machines, but appear as a single system to the user.

What is RPC?

In technical terms, RPC is a protocol that enables the client application to call a procedure on a remote server, which executes the requested procedure and sends back the result to the client.

The client application and the server communicate through a network, using a communication protocol such as TCP or UDP.

The process of calling a remote procedure is similar to calling a local procedure. The client passes the input parameters to the server, and the server returns the result.

To make the process of remote procedure call seamless, a middleware layer is used. The middleware layer provides an abstraction layer between the client and server, making it appear as if the client and server are communicating directly.

The middleware layer is responsible for handling the low-level details of the communication, such as establishing and tearing down the connection, serialization and deserialization of data, and error handling.

Real World Example

One of the most common examples of RPC is the use of Remote Method Invocation (RMI) in Java. RMI is a Java-specific implementation of RPC that allows objects in one Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to invoke methods on objects in another JVM.

The RMI system provides a mechanism for distributed objects to communicate with each other, making it possible to build distributed applications in Java.

Another example of RPC is the use of gRPC ↗️, an open-source remote procedure call framework developed by Google.

gRPC provides a high-performance, scalable, and language-independent RPC framework that can be used to build distributed systems in a wide range of programming languages.


Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is a powerful tool for building distributed systems that can help make the interaction between different systems seamless. RPC provides an abstraction layer that enables developers to build distributed systems that appear as a single system to the end user.

It allows programs running on different machines to communicate with each other, making it possible to build distributed applications that can scale to handle large numbers of users.

EnvelopeOpen IconStay up to date

Get notified when I publish something new, and unsubscribe at any time.

Need help with your software project? Let’s talk

You may also like

  • # system design

    Finding Your Way: Understanding Service Discovery and Service Mesh

    Join me on this tech-savvy adventure as we delve into the fascinating world of service discovery and service mesh. In this blog, we'll navigate through the complexities of distributed systems, exploring how service discovery acts as a compass, guiding applications to find and communicate with each other seamlessly. Get ready to unravel the mysteries of service mesh and understand how it empowers us to control, secure, and optimize the flow of information between microservices.

  • # system design

    Building Resilient Systems: A Guide to Designing for Fault Tolerance

    Join me on a journey into the world of building robust and resilient systems. In this blog, we'll explore the art of designing for fault tolerance, where we'll discover how to prepare our applications to gracefully handle failures and bounce back stronger. So, grab a seat and get ready to fortify your systems against unforeseen challenges.

  • # system design

    Designing for Scalability: Building a Flexible and Future-Proof System

    Join me on an exciting journey into the world of scalable system design. In this blog, we'll explore the art of crafting flexible and future-proof architectures that can handle the growing demands of your application. So grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive into the realm of scalability, where we'll unlock the secrets to building systems that stand the test of time.