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Key-CRDT Stores
MSc Post-Graduation

The Internet has opened opportunities to create world scale services. These systems require highavailability and fault tolerance, while preserving low latency. Replication is a widely adopted technique to provide these properties. Different replication techniques have been proposed through the years, but to support these properties for world scale services it is necessary to trade consistency for availability, fault-tolerance and low latency. In weak consistency models, it is necessary to deal with possible conflicts arising from concurrent updates. We propose the use of conflict free replicated data types (CRDTs) to address this issue. Cloud computing systems support world scale services, often relying on Key-Value stores for storing data. These systems partition and replicate data over multiple nodes, that can be geographically disperse over the network. For handling conflict, these systems either rely on solutions that lose updates (e.g. last-write-wins) or require application to handle concurrent updates. Additionally, these systems provide little support for transactions, a widely used abstraction for data access. In this dissertation, we present the design and implementation of SwiftCloud, a Key-CRDT store that extends a Key-Value store by incorporating CRDTs in the system’s data-model. The system provides automatic conflict resolution relying on properties of CRDTs. We also present a version of SwiftCloud that supports transactions. Unlike traditional transactional systems, transactions never abort due to write/write conflicts, as the system leverages CRDT properties to merge concurrent transactions. For implementing SwiftCloud, we have introduced a set of new techniques, including versioned CRDTs, composition of CRDTs and alternative serialization methods. The evaluation of the system, with both micro-benchmarks and the TPC-W benchmark, shows that SwiftCloud imposes little overhead over a key-value store. Allowing clients to access a datacenter close to them with SwiftCloud, can reduce latency without requiring any complex reconciliation mechanism. The experience of using SwiftCloud has shown that adapting an existing application to use SwiftCloud requires low effort.

Start Date: 2011-03-01

End Date: 2012-07-02

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