Andrew Myers

Security, programming languages, and computer systems

Serializability is back?

Just got done with NSDI 2014. Lots of interesting work. I was tickled that there were at least two talks where strict serializability was the goal (including ours), even though they landed in different sessions. The work of the Microsoft folks on FaRM shows that with some hardware support, strict serializability is possible with amazing performance. And strong consistency comes with a hidden performance benefit: you don’t have to spend so much effort on defensive programming and repairing consistency problems, and software components compose nicely. Perhaps the pendulum really is swinging back to strong consistency again. I hope so.