Databases are so yesterday, Availability vs. Consistency, the CAP theorem, failure is the norm, and network partitions these are just a few terms associated with Internet scale and modern distributed systems. In this world, Paxos is a critical algorithm for implementing a fault-tolerant distributed system and is not the famous Island in Greece, and the Clash of Cultures refers to distributed systems based on ACID semantics vs. modern Internet systems that focus on BASE.
Gone are the days where distributed objects (CORBA, e.g.) were synonymous with distributed systems. Now days for a vast array of applications, performance and availability is what counts and ACID reliability is only considered a requirement for areas where direct currency is involved, e.g., ATMs or checkout phase from an e-store.
I’ve started getting interested in this area and this is the first of a series of notes on modern distributed systems. This first note is simply a collection of the important terms in this space.
ACID: Atomic, Consistent, Isolated, Durable.
BASE: Basically Available, Soft-state (or scalable), Eventually consistent.
CAP Theorem: Consistency, Availability and network Partition tolerance (Prof. Eric Brewer, UC Berkeley). In a distributed, system, you can have only two of the three properties of CAP.