100. Database Soup – Explaining ACID, BASE, CAP – Part 2

In this episode, we cover the following topics:

  • In this new series, we are discussing database consistency models explained in three acts. This episode is “Act II: The arrival of the Internet creates new challenges (circa 1998)”.
  • Problems with building large scale-out systems led to the “discovery” of the CAP theorem (by Eric Brewer of Inktomi). We explain what the CAP theorem postulates and break it down in understandable terms.
  • The three properties of the CAP theorem are consistency, availability and partition tolerance. What exactly is meant by “partition tolerance”?
  • A key implication of the CAP theorem is that must choose your priorities. As a system scales, it cannot be both available and consistent.
  • We discuss Physalia, a technology developed by AWS for making Elastic Block Service (EBS) more resilient. The design of Physalia was inspired by the principles of the CAP theorem.
  • We then take a personal story detour that is (mostly) related to the CAP theorem. It turns out, Eric Brewer and Chris share a common experience during the first Internet bubble.

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End Song

Disruption by Miquel Salla

More Info

For a full transcription of this episode, please visit the episode webpage.

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