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Enhancing Replica Management Services to Cope with Group Failures

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Santosh Shrivastava, Dr Paul EzhilchelvanORCiD



In a distributed system, replication of components, such as objects, is a well known way of achieving availability. For increased availability, crashed and disconnected components must be replaced by new components on available spare nodes. This replacement results in the membership of the replicated group 'walking' over a number of machines during system operation. In this context, we address the problem of reconfiguring a group after the group as an entity has failed. Such a failure is termed a group failure which, for example, can be the crash of every component in the group or the group being partitioned into minority islands. The solution assumes crash-proof storage, and eventual recovery of crashed nodes and healing of partitions. It guarantees that (i) the number of groups reconfigured after a group failure is never more than one, and (ii) the reconfigured group contains a majority of the components which were members of the group just before the group failure occurred, so that the loss of state information due to a group failure is minimal. Though the protocol is subject to blocking, it remains efficient in terms of communication rounds and use of stable store, during both normal operations and reconfiguration after a group failure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shrivastava SK, Ezhilchelvan PD

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 1999

Pages: 26

Print publication date: 01/10/1999

Source Publication Date: October 1999

Report Number: 665

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne