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The concept of Eventual consistency

Saturday, 08 January 2022

In Software architecture, for big systems and large-scale ones, there is a concept called Eventual consistency that describes how data is eventually consistent across different nodes or components of a system. In other words, eventual consistency is the idea that if you make a change to a data item, eventually all replicas of that data item will be updated with the same data.


The reason eventual consistency is important in distributed systems is that different nodes or components of a system may not always be able to communicate with each other in real time. This can be due to a variety of factors such as network latency, hardware failures, or other issues.


In order to deal with this, distributed systems often use a technique called eventual consistency. With eventual consistency, data is replicated across multiple nodes or components of the system, and changes are made to each replica independently. Over time, these changes will be propagated to all other replicas, ensuring that all nodes eventually have the same data.


While eventual consistency is a useful technique, it is important to note that it is not the same as immediate consistency. In an immediately consistent system, changes made to a data item are immediately propagated to all other replicas of that data item. However, this is often not feasible in distributed systems due to network latency and other factors.


There are different approaches to achieving eventual consistency in distributed systems, including techniques such as conflict resolution, versioning, and vector clocks. These techniques help ensure that changes to data items are eventually propagated to all nodes in the system.


One common example of eventual consistency in action is in distributed databases. In a distributed database, data is replicated across multiple nodes, and changes to that data are made independently on each node. Over time, the changes are propagated to all other nodes, ensuring that all nodes eventually have the same data.


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