Friday Jul 19, 2013

The CAP theorem: Consistency and Availability except when Partitioned

In recent years NoSQL databases have justified providing eventual or other weak read/write consistency as an inevitable consequence of Brewer's CAP Theorem. This relies on the simplistic interpretation that because distributed systems can't avoid Partitions, they have to give up Consistency in order to offer Availability. This reasoning if flawed - CAP does allow systems to maintain both Consistency and Availability during the (majority of the time) when there is no Partition, and good distributed systems strive to maximize both C and A while accounting for P. You do not have to give up consistency as a whole just to gain scalability and availability. 

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Musings on Oracle's Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA), by members of Oracle Development team. Note that we may not have the bandwidth to answer generic questions on MAA.

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