Census: Location-Aware Membership Management for Large-Scale Distributed Systems

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Executive Summary

The authors present Census, a platform for building large-scale distributed applications. Census provides a membership service and a multi-cast mechanism. The membership service provides every node with a consistent view of the system membership, which may be global or partitioned into location-based regions. Census distributes membership updates with low overhead, propagates changes promptly, and is resilient to both crashes and Byzantine failures. They believe that Census is the first system to provide a consistent membership abstraction at very large scale, greatly simplifying the design of applications built atop large deployments such as multi-site data centers.

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