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Presto uses an architecture similar to a classic massively parallel processing (MPP) database management system.

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It has one coordinator node working in sync with multiple worker nodes. A user can submit their SQL query to the coordinator which uses a custom query and execution engine to parse, plan, and schedule a distributed query plan across the worker nodes. Presto is designed to support standard ANSI SQL semantics, including complex queries, aggregations, joins, left/right outer joins, sub-queries, window functions, distinct counts, and approximate percentiles.