Davide Frey, Achour Mostefaoui, Matthieu Perrin, Pierre-Louis Roman, and François Taïani

Speed for the elite, consistency for the masses: differentiating eventual consistency in large-scale distributed systems

To appear in the proceedings of the 35th Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS 2016), Budapest, Hungary, September, 2016 (10p.)

Eventual consistency is a consistency model that emphasizes liveness over safety; it is often used for its ability to scale as distributed systems grow larger. Eventual consistency tends to be uniformly applied to an entire system, but we argue that there is a growing demand for differentiated eventual consistency requirements. We address this demand with UPS, a novel consistency mechanism that offers differentiated eventual consistency and delivery speed by working in pair with a two-phase epidemic broadcast protocol. We propose a closed-form analysis of our approach's delivery speed, and we evaluate our complete mechanism experimentally on a simulated network of one million nodes. To measure the consistency trade-off, we formally define a novel and scalable consistency metric operating at runtime.


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