Gryff: Unifying Consensus and Shared Registers


Matthew Burke, Cornell University; Audrey Cheng and Wyatt Lloyd, Princeton University


Linearizability reduces the complexity of building correct applications. However, there is a tradeoff between using linearizability for geo-replicated storage and low tail latency. Traditional approaches use consensus to implement linearizable replicated state machines, but consensus is inefficient for workloads composed mostly of reads and writes.

We present the design, implementation, and evaluation of Gryff, a system that offers linearizability and low tail latency by unifying consensus with shared registers. Gryff introduces carstamps to correctly order reads and writes without incurring unnecessary constraints that are required when ordering stronger synchronization primitives. Our evaluation shows that Gryff’s combination of an optimized shared register protocol with EPaxos allows it to provide lower service-level latency than EPaxos or MultiPaxos due to its lower tail latency for reads.

NSDI '20 Open Access Sponsored by NetApp

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {246292,
author = {Matthew Burke and Audrey Cheng and Wyatt Lloyd},
title = {Gryff: Unifying Consensus and Shared Registers },
booktitle = {17th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 20)},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-939133-13-7},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {591--617},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb,

Presentation Video