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.

You may also like

  • # system design# database

    Choosing the Right Data Storage Solution: SQL vs. NoSQL Databases

    Navigating the world of data storage solutions can be like choosing the perfect tool for a job. Join me as we dive into the dynamic debate of SQL and NoSQL databases, understanding their strengths, limitations, and where they best fit in real-world scenarios.

  • # system design

    Raft and Paxos: Distributed Consensus Algorithms

    Dive into the world of distributed systems and unravel the mysteries of consensus algorithms with Raft and Paxos. In this blog, we'll embark on a human-to-human exploration, discussing the inner workings of these two popular consensus algorithms. If you have a solid grasp of technical concepts and a curious mind eager to understand how distributed systems achieve consensus, this guide is your ticket to clarity!

  • # system design

    Understanding Load Balancing Algorithms: Round-robin and Consistent Hashing

    Welcome to the world of load balancing algorithms, where we unravel the magic behind Round-robin and Consistent Hashing. If you have a solid grasp of technical concepts and are eager to understand how these algorithms efficiently distribute traffic across servers, this blog is your ultimate guide. We'll embark on a human-to-human conversation, exploring the inner workings of Round-robin and Consistent Hashing, and how they keep our systems scalable and performant.