Middleware-based Database Replication: The Gaps Between Theory and Practice

The need for high availability and performance in data management systems has been fueling a long running interest in database replication from both academia and industry. However, academic groups often attack replication problems in isolation, overlooking the need for completeness in their solutions, while commercial teams take a holistic approach that often misses opportunities for fundamental innovation. This has created over time a gap between academic research and industrial practice. This paper aims to characterize the gap along three axes: performance, availability, and administration. We build on our own experience developing and deploying replication systems in commercial and academic settings, as well as on a large body of prior related work. We sift through representative examples from the last decade of open-source, academic, and commercial database replication systems and combine this material with case studies from real systems deployed at Fortune 500 customers. We propose two agendas, one for academic research and one for industrial R&D, which we believe can bridge the gap within 5-10 years. This way, we hope to both motivate and help researchers in making the theory and practice of middleware-based database replication more relevant to each other.

Published in:
Proceedings of the ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), 739-752
Presented at:
ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), Vancouver, Canada, 2008-06

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 Record created 2008-11-11, last modified 2020-07-30

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