Comparing Atomic Broadcast Algorithms in High Latency Networks

Since the introduction of the concept of failure detectors, several consensus and atomic broadcast algorithms based on these detectors have been published. The performance of these algorithms is often affected by a trade-off between the number of communication steps and the number of messages needed to reach a decision. Some algorithms reach decisions in few communication steps but require more messages to do so. Others save messages at the expense of an additional communication step to diffuse the decision to all processes in the system. This trade-off is heavily influenced by the network latency and the message processing times. Performance evaluations of these algorithms, both in simulated or in real environments, have been published. These evaluations often consider a symmetrical setup : all processes are on the same network and have identical peer-to-peer latencies. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of three consensus and atomic broadcast algorithms using failure detectors in several wide area networks. We specifically focus on the case of a system with three processes, two of which are on a local area network and the third on a distant site and examine how this setting affects the performance of all three algorithms.

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