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Consensus on Transaction Commit

Jim Gray and Leslie Lamport


The distributed transaction commit problem requires reaching agreement on whether a transaction is committed or aborted. The classic Two-Phase Commit protocol blocks if the coordinator fails. Fault-tolerant consensus algorithms also reach agreement, but do not block whenever any majority of the processes are working. Running a Paxos consensus algorithm on the commit/abort decision of each participant yields a transaction commit protocol that uses 2F +1 coordinators and makes progress if at least F +1 of them are working. In the fault-free case, this algorithm requires one extra message delay but has the same stable-storage write delay as Two- Phase Commit. The classic Two-Phase Commit algorithm is obtained as the special F = 0 case of the general Paxos Commit algorithm.


Publication typeTechReport
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
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