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Immunizing Systems from Distant Failures by Limiting Lamport Exposure

Cristina Bà†sescu and Bryan Ford

Twentieth ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets)
November 10-12, 2021


Failures far away from a user should intuitively be less likely to affect that user. Today's ecosystem miserably fails this test, however, despite high-availability best practices. Correlated and cascading failures – triggered by misconfigurations, bugs, and network partitions – often invalidate assumptions of failure independence. We propose that distributed services need not and should not expose local activities to distant failures or partitions, no matter how severe. Limix is an exposure-limiting architecture, guaranteeing that neither the availability nor the performance of strongly-consistent accesses within a local area may be impacted by distant failures. Preliminary results suggest that infrastructures today could use Limix to limit exposure at a manageable cost.

Workshop paper: PDF

Topics: Cloud Computing Networks Peer-to-Peer Reliability and Robustness Bryan Ford