2013 Poster Sessions : In Search of an Understandable Consensus Algorithm

Student Name : Diego Ongaro
Advisor : John K. Ousterhout
Research Areas: Computer Systems
Raft is a consensus algorithm for managing a replicated log. It produces a result equivalent to Paxos, and it is as efficient as Paxos, but its structure is different from Paxos; this makes Raft more understandable than Paxos and also provides a better foundation for building practical systems. In order to enhance understandability, Raft separates the key elements of consensus such as leader election and log replication, and it enforces a higher level of coherency to reduce the number of states that must be considered. Raft also includes a new mechanism for changing the cluster membership, which uses overlapping majorities to guarantee safety.

Diego is a 4th year CS PhD student working on distributed systems with John Ousterhout. He worked on the RAMCloud project before, which provided the motivation for Raft.