Network latency and local update are the most significant components of update response time in a distributed database system. Effectively designed distributed database systems can take advantage of parallel processing to minimize this time. We present a design approach to response time minimization for update transactions in a distributed database. Response time is calculated as the sum of local processing and communication, including transmit time, queuing delays, and network latency. We demonstrate that parallelism has significant impacts on the efficiency of data allocation strategies in the design of high transaction-volume distributed databases.