Bipartisan Paxos: A Modular State Machine Replication Protocol

02/29/2020 ∙ by Michael Whittaker, et al. ∙ 0

There is no shortage of state machine replication protocols. From Generalized Paxos to EPaxos, a huge number of replication protocols have been proposed that achieve high throughput and low latency. However, these protocols all have two problems. First, they do not scale. Many protocols actually slow down when you scale them, instead of speeding up. For example, increasing the number of MultiPaxos acceptors increases quorum sizes and slows down the protocol. Second, they are too complicated. This is not a secret; state machine replication is notoriously difficult to understand. In this paper, we tackle both problems with a single solution: modularity. We present Bipartisan Paxos (BPaxos), a modular state machine replication protocol. Modularity yields high throughput via scaling. We note that while many replication protocol components do not scale, some do. By modularizing BPaxos, we are able to disentangle the two and scale the bottleneck components to increase the protocol's throughput. Modularity also yields simplicity. BPaxos is divided into a number of independent modules that can be understood and proven correct in isolation.

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