Implementing Distributed Consensus

Tuesday, December 08, 2020 - 10:45 am11:25 am

Dan Lüdtke, Google Inc.


May I introduce "Skinny", an education-focused, distributed lock service.

With the help of Skinny, we will:

  • briefly look at the Paxos protocol
  • see an example of a typical Paxos run
  • design a simple distributed consensus protocol
  • learn the tricky parts of implementing our simple distributed consensus protocol
  • gradually move from theory-level to coding-level, solving small challenges (network, availability, fault-tolerance) along the way

This talk addresses engineers who had little exposure to the inner workings of distributed consensus, who want to learn about distributed consensus as they start building distributed systems, and who worked with ready-made distributed consensus solutions such as Zookeper and etcd but strive to understand the underlying theory as well.

Disclaimer: This work is not affiliated with any company (including Google) and purely educational!

Dan Lüdtke, Google Inc.

Dan served his country, worked as a security consultant, once wrote a book about IPv6, contributes to open source software projects, helps to organize large hacker events, runs an autonomous system for fun, and dreams of space travel. He works at Google Stadia as a Site Reliability Engineering Manager.

Blog: Podcast:

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 {262182,
author = {Dan L{\"u}dtke},
title = {Implementing Distributed Consensus},
booktitle = {SREcon20 Americas (SREcon20 Americas)},
year = {2020},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = dec

Presentation Video