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Communications of the ACM


Consistently Eventual

Consistently Eventual, illustration

Credit: Marek Uliasz

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In recent years, there has been a lot of excitement over eventual consistency.6 Heck, I get pretty excited about it! Eventual consistency is an aspect of some data that says its underlying value is unknown until work on that item settles down. It turns out that, in many cases, there are data items for which the work never settles down. In addition to being eventually consistent, many data items remain consistently eventual!

Eventual consistency occurs when the value for something is replicated in more than one place, and there is a protocol for these replicas converging. Changes to one or more of the replicas can be done independently, and they will propagate and converge.


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