Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Distributed Systems and Consensus

Mark Mc Keown has posted a fantastic summary of "Consensus, 2PC, and Transaction Commit" over the last decades.

I've read some of those materials before, but had certainly never ordered everything so clearly.

I think this is a particularly important reference:
Fischer, Lynch and Paterson showed that distributed consensus was impossible in an asynchronous system with just one faulty process in "Impossibility of distributed consensus with one faulty process" (1985), this famous result is known as the "FLP" result.
In particular, this result means that any system that is distributed will have to deal with failures somehow.

Erlang has a built in model for handling distributed failures.... more reading to do.

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