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From Philip O'Toole <>
Subject QUORUM writes, QUORUM reads -- and eventual consistency
Date Sat, 25 Aug 2012 04:55:09 GMT
Hello -- perhaps someone could provide me some clarification about this.


"If consistency is top priority, you can ensure that a read will always reflect the most recent
write by using the following formula:

(nodes_written + nodes_read) > replication_factor"

But consider this. Say I have a replication factor of 3. I request a QUORUM write, and it
fails because the write only reaches 1 node. Perhaps there is a temporary partition in my
cluster. Now, asynchronously, a different reader performs a QUORUM read of the same cluster
and just before it issues the read, the partition is resolved. The quorum read is satisfied
by the two nodes that have *not* received the latest write (yet). Doesn't this mean that the
read does not "reflect the most recent write"? I realise this is very unlikely to happen in
practise, but I want to be sure I understand all this.

Perhaps the documentation would be more correct if the statement read as "...reflect the most
recent SUCCESSFUL write..."?



Philip O'Toole
Senior Developer
Loggly, Inc.
San Francisco, CA

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