tier = horizontal layers of the technology stack. eg storage, server, etc
node = servers that operate independently.
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Pay an attention to Sharing The Application Tier File System in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 (Doc ID 1375769.1)
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From SunTone Architecture Methodology:
"Tiers describe how a distributed application is decomposed into modules to reduce the coupling and improve the system ﬂexibility.
This permits each tier to be modiﬁed or enhanced without affecting other tiers."
A tier can be logical or physical organization of components into an ordered chain of service providers and consumers.
Components within a tier typically consume the services of those in an “adjacent” provider tier and provide services to one or more “adjacent” consumer tiers.