It basically just means that the node can function on its own, even if it is not part of the distributed system (in that case, it is a single system). If it wasn’t autonomous, then it wouldn’t be a self-sufficient, single system!
This comment was off to a nice start until you stated that “nodes generally are, themselves, multiprocessors”. If you read my piece, then you’d see that I specifically do not mention what a node is, because in all of my reading on distributed systems, there is no “one” definition for what a node can be. As I…
Because this is a (year-long) series, it is impossible to cover everything in a single post. If you take a look at the next post, you’ll see that I explain this in further detail. You can take a look, if you’d like: https://medium.com/baseds/transparency-illusions-of-a-single-system-part-1-b01c25f7dddd