Monday, February 29, 2016

Some Raft References
Raft is a consensus algorithm designed to be easier to understand than Paxos. To measure Raft's understandability, we conducted an experimental study using CS students at two universities. We recorded a video lecture of Raft and another of Paxos, and created corresponding quizzes. This page makes our materials available for anyone interested. We think these are valuable resources for anyone learning consensus (whether Raft or Paxos or both).
Raft is a consensus algorithm for managing a replicated log. It produces a result equivalent to (multi-)Paxos, and it is as efficient as Paxos, but its structure is different from Paxos; this makes Raft more understandable than Paxos and also provides a better foundation for build- ing practical systems. In order to enhance understandabil- ity, Raft separates the key elements of consensus, such as leader election, log replication, and safety, and it enforces a stronger degree of coherency to reduce the number of states that must be considered. Results from a user study demonstrate that Raft is easier for students to learn than Paxos. Raft also includes a new mechanism for changing the cluster membership, which uses overlapping majori- ties to guarantee safety.
Raft lecture (Raft user study) - YouTube
Tech Talk - Raft, In Search of an Understandable Consensus Algorithm

Raft Consensus Algorithm
    Consul is a new product by HashiCorp which aims to solve the core issues of service discovery and configuration. As part of that it needs to maintain a strongly consistent catalog shared between multiple servers for availability. Raft was used as the consensus protocol for Consul because it was the most readily understandable and simple algorithm available.
    The simplicity of Raft reduced our time to market, and now Consul powers HashiCorp, a number of customers using our on-premise product, and hopefully soon many thousands of other clients through our open source efforts.
    We've open sourced our Raft library as well, allowing others to use it independently of Consul. The library fully implements the protocol as described, following the paper as closely as possible.
Raft - secret lives of data

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