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OSDI 2000 Abstract

Design and Evaluation of a Continuous Consistency Model for Replicated Services

Haifeng Yu, and Amin Vahdat, Duke University


The tradeoffs between consistency, performance, and availability are well understood. Traditionally, however, designers of replicated systems have been forced to choose from either strong consistency guarantees or none at all. This paper explores the semantic space between traditional strong and optimistic consistency models for replicated services. We argue that an important class of applications can tolerate relaxed consistency, but benefit from bounding the maximum rate of inconsistent access in an application-specific manner. Thus, we develop a set of metrics, Numerical Error, Order Error, and Staleness, to capture the consistency spectrum. We then present the design and implementation of TACT, a middleware layer that enforces arbitrary consistency bounds among replicas using these metrics. Finally, we show that three replicated applications demonstrate significant semantic and performance benefits from using our framework.
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Last changed: 16 Jan. 2002 ml
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