Database Replication based on Group Communication

Bettina Kemme, Gustavo Alonso
Database replication is traditionally seen as a mechanism to increase the availability and performance of distributed databases. However, very few of the numerous protocols that have been proposed in the literature are used in current systems. There is a strong belief among database developers that existing solutions introduce too much overhead to be feasible in practice. Instead, current products allow inconsistencies and often resort to centralized approaches, which eliminates some of the advantages of replication. To resolve this issue, this paper proposes a suite of replicatio protocols based on group communication primitives that tries to address the concerns of database designers. These protocols take advantage of the rich semantics of group communication primitives and the relaxed isolation guarantees provided by most databases to eliminate the possibility of deadlocks, reduce the message overhead, and increase performance. A detailed simulation study shows the feasibility of the approach and the flexibility with which different types of bottlenecks can be circumvented.
Technical Report No. 289, ETH Zürich, Departement of Computer Science, 1998.

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