Data Centers

Making Geo-Replicated Systems Fast as Possible, Consistent When Necessary

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Executive Summary

Online services distribute and replicate state across geographically diverse data centers and direct user requests to the closest or least loaded site. While effectively ensuring low latency responses, this approach is at odds with maintaining cross-site consistency. The authors make three contributions to address this tension; they propose RedBlue consistency, which enables blue operations to be fast (and eventually consistent) while the remaining red operations are strongly consistent (and slow), to make use of fast operation whenever possible and only resort to strong consistency when needed, they identify conditions delineating when operations can be blue and must be red and they introduce a method that increases the space of potential blue operations by breaking them into separate generator and shadow phases.

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