Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Charlotte Spencer-Smith, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Ferhat Hatay, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Java IoT: Blog Feed Post

NoSQL and Partition Tolerance

While NoSQL implementations are aware that nodes have left, they are not aware that said nodes have formed a separate partition

I came across an article discussing NoSQL and partition tolerance.

The NoSQL Partition Tolerance Myth (link)

I may not entirely agree with the author.

But what most NoSQL systems offer is a peculiar behavior that is not partition tolerant, but partition oblivious instead.

 

No argument here. While NoSQL implementations are aware that nodes have left, they are not aware that said nodes have formed a separate partition.

In this case, we would want failure detection and carry out those transfers where the accounts are both on the same side of the partition, while denying or deferring transfers that cross the chasm.

The author is assuming that the account is only on one side of the partition. If that is that is case, is doesn’t matter whether the NoSQL implementation is eventually consistent or not. If the account is on both sides of the partition, the solution the author provides still results in an inconsistent state.

In such cases, it is almost always better to build services that degrade gracefully under partitions.

Bingo! The author implies that all NoSQL implementations sacrifice consistency in the event of a partition. That is not true. There are AP implementations (available & partition tolerant), and there are CP implementations (consistent & partition tolerant). However, an AP implementation can function as a CP implementation depending on the configuration and the application. For example, if accounts do not have multiple owners and the application can not withdraw funds from or deposit funds to an account if it can not access the account.

This post is not perfect and it is a bit outdated, but I think its helpful nonetheless.

Visual Guide to NoSQL Systems (link)

If I were to build a bank based on Dynamo, the granddaddy of all first-generation NoSQL data stores, it would silently split into two halves, like a lobotomized patient.

I would not say that Amazon Dynamo is the grandparent of all NoSQL implementations. I would say that there are two parents: Amazon Dynamo and Google BigTable. Then there are the grandparents…

A Brief History of NoSQL (link)

In this scenario, the hypothetical backend for Banko Dynamo would not only not provide any indication of failure, but allow a customer to create as many new accounts as there are partitions, one in each.

Why is the author now using account creation instead of withdrawals and deposits, and what is the relevance of creating multiple accounts? If my debit card does not work, I do not create a new account. That, and I maintain two checking accounts and one savings account with the same bank.

Let’s go back to withdrawals and deposits. If the accounts do not have multiple owners, it does not matter whether the NoSQL implementation is eventually consistent or not. If the accounts do have multiple owners, it depends on the NoSQL implementation. If it is inspired by Google BigTable (e.g. Apache HBase) or both Google BigTable and Amazon Dynamo (e.g. Apache Cassandra), it does not matter. These NoSQL implementations are CP, or can be configured to be CP. If it inspired only by Amazon Dynamo and it is eventually consistent, it may or may not matter…

Let’s assume that account withdrawals / deposits are separate from the accounts themselves and that the account is both consistent and available during a partition. The account has multiple owners but it is more or less read only.

My account has a balance of $100 (calculated from the withdrawals and deposits). Now, there are two partitions: A and B. I purchase $50 of St. Bernardus Abt 12 at Binny’s via partition A. Partition A now has withdrawal #1. I have dinner at Baume & Brix for $75 via partition B. Partition B now has withdrawal #2. My account has a balance of $50 in partition A. It has a balance of $25 in partition B. My account should have a balance of minus $25.

Does it matter? My account may not have a balance of minus $25, but it will. When the partition is repaired, the application will be able to access all of the withdrawals and deposits on my account. I may be charged an overlimit fee.

What if the NoSQL implementation sacrificed availability? My payment at Binny’s did not go through. That’s not a problem. No St. Bernardus Abt 12 for me. My payment at Baume & Brix did not go through. That’s a problem. I can’t pay for dinner. Baume & Brix can’t accept my payment nor that of any other customer paying with a debit card from the same bank as me via partition B.

What if I made a deposit of $25 at an ATM via partition A? My account will have a balance of $0 after the partition is repaired. I will not be charged an overlimit fee.

There are other scenarios. Perhaps I’m charged an insufficient funds fee and Baume & Brix does not receive payment. Perhaps Baume & Brix later resubmits the payment and receives payment.

Do you really want to sell tickets from both halves of your system? By definition, there is no way you can guarantee uniqueness of those tickets. There will be customers holding identical tickets with identical seat numbers.

Maybe, maybe not. If there is only a single owner per ticket, then yes. However, there may be availability issues. For example, partition A has tickets 1-150 and partition B has tickets 151-200. If all the tickets in partition B have been purchased, visitors may be unable to purchase tickets despite the fact that there may be tickets available in partition A. If there are multiple owners per ticket, I would prefer a NoSQL implementation that is CP. In this case, I would prefer to sacrifice availability rather than consistency.

Here is a better example. What if I report my debit card stolen? Sacrificing availability is not appropriate. What if customer service is accessing my account via the partition with no availability? My debit card must be reported stolen or the thief can continue to make purchases with it. Sacrificing consistency is not appropriate. The thief can continue to make purchases with my debit card via the partition where my account has not been reported stolen. Perhaps account information should not be stored in a distributed system.

And if they did, the first-generation NoSQL stores usually take the ultimate punt by presenting all versions of the divergent objects to the application, and let the application resolve the mess.

No argument here.

But if your data is that soft and inconsequential, why not just use memcached? It’s wicked fast, far faster than Mongo.

Perhaps because MongoDB is a document store and as such provides features that are not provided by key / value stores.

A lot of NoSQL developers pretend that being partition oblivious is a difficult thing to implement. This is false. It’s easy to make a program oblivious to a particular event; namely, you write no code to handle that event.

No argument here.

The thing that greatly helps first generation NoSQL data stores, the thing that enables them to package partition obliviousness as if it were equivalent to partition tolerance, is that they provide a very weak service guarantee in the first place. These systems cannot guarantee that, on a good day, your GET will return the latest PUT.

Sure they can.

In fact, eventual consistency means that a GET can return any previous value, including the Does Not Exist response from the very initial state of the system.

No argument here. Of course, not all NoSQL implementations are eventually consistent.


With all this being said, a NoSQL implementation may or may not be appropriate. To be more specific, a NoSQL implementation that is eventually consistent and sacrifices consistency in the event of a partition may or may not be appropriate. The behaviour is determined by the NoSQL implementation, its configuration, and the application that reads and writes to it. Whether that behaviour is appropriate or not depends on the business requirements.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Daniel Thompson

I curate the content on this page, but the credit goes to my talented colleagues for the posts that you see here. Much of what you read on this page is the work of friends at How to JBoss, and I encourage you to drop by the site at http://www.howtojboss.com for some of the best JBoss technical and non-technical content for developers, architects and technology executives on the Web.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...