A Reconfigurable System Architecture for Consensus-based Group Communication

H.P. Reiser, U. Bartlang, and F.J. Hauck (Germany)


Reconfigurability, Group Communication, Distributed Consensus, Fault Tolerance, AspectIX


Using distributed consensus algorithms is an established way to implement group communication systems with total message ordering. This paper presents a system architec ture focusing on (re-)configurability of such systems. Un like other systems, ours can be configured to work with different failure models and low-level communication pro tocols without changing the application. Failure models, protocols, and their run-time parameters (e.g., timeouts) can even be re-configured at run-time without loosing con sistency, especially in case of failures. Re-configuration at run-time allows for applications that adapt to access pat terns and environment conditions for gaining optimal per formance and fault tolerance at the same time. As re configuration is transparent to the application logic, it may be done automatically by the system. We also present per formance figures of our prototype implementation on the basis of variants of the Paxos algorithm.

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