Distributed Commit with High Availability

  • Distributed Commit with High Availability

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
& ECIT Global Research Institute

Proposed Project Title: Distributed Commit with High Availability

Principal Supervisor:   Prof Dimitrios Nikolopoulos     Second Supervisor: Dr Hans Vandierendonck

Project Description:

Transaction processing, databases, and networking systems use distributed algorithms to to coordinate the processes that participate in a distributed atomic transaction and agree on whether to commit or abort the transaction. In databases, transaction commit is used to provide ACID properties: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability. These properties arm application developers with a powerful tool for building scalable and reliable distributed applications. However, within a distributed system supporting transaction commit is challenging. The well known two phase commit algorithm is safe but has poor liveness properties due to it blocking for certain failure scenarios. This means that the algorithm can not guarantee that the distributed system can make progress in completing transactions despite failure or slowdown of individual processes.

Paxos Commit is a transactional commit algorithm that does not suffer from the blocking properties of two phase commit. However, the current algorithm is not amenable to realistic and viable implementations on distributed systems. The project would focus on exploring modifications to the Paxos algorithm to make its implementation realistic and develop an implementation of the algorithm with strong liveness properties using WANDisco environment. This implementation would need to expose an API that is easy to use for application developers, scales to large number of nodes and is performant in terms of transaction rate.

The project is a collaboration between ECIT and WanDisco, a company providing patented solutions for active data replication to enable continuous and consistent connectivity to data.

Contact details

Supervisor Name: Prof DImitrios Nikolopoulos                            Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 1800

QUB Address: ECIT Institute                                                      Email: d.nikolopoulos@qub.ac.uk