Application programmers increasingly prefer distributed storage systems with distributed transactions and strong consistency (e.g., Google’s Spanner) for their strong guarantees and ease of use. Unfortunately, existing transactional storage systems are expensive to use because they rely on costly replication protocols, like Paxos, for fault-tolerance. In the TAPIR project, we present a new approach that makes transactional storage systems more affordable: we eliminate consistency from the replication protocol while still providing distributed transactions with strong consistency to applications.
TAPIR – the Transaction Application Protocol for Inconsistent Replication – is the first transaction protocol to use a replication protocol, called inconsistent replication, that provides fault-tolerance with no consistency. By enforcing strong consistency only in the transaction protocol, TAPIR can commit transactions in a single round-trip and order distributed transactions without centralized coordination. We demonstrate the use of TAPIR in TAPIR-KV, a key-value store that provides high-performance transactional storage. Compared to systems using conventional transaction protocols that require replication with strong consistency, TAPIR-KV has 2x better latency and throughput.
- Building Consistent Transactions with Inconsistent Replication. Irene Zhang, Naveen Kr. Sharma, Adriana Szekeres, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Dan R. K. Ports. In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles. Monterey, CA. October 2015.