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Focus of this Ignoring the consistency-latency tradeoff of replicated systems is a great oversight, since it is present at all times during system operation, whereas CAP is only relevant in the (arguably) rare case of a network partition. In fact, the consistency-latency tradeoff is potentially more significant than CAP, since it has a more direct effect of the baseline operations of modern distributed database systems.

System Model and Components

Network Components

The Blockchain serves as a global log of configuration and meta information. Through the blockchain component, network participants can register their existence along with verifiable data of their activities (such as schemas they use (e.g. X12 4010), service levels they guarantee (e.g. Web Services Agreement Specification, or contract terms with other participants). These transaction could used as input to automated arbitration of disputes per the guidelines setout in the Network Rulebook.

[[nodelet: sequence, schedule, storage]] —

Node Layers

The sequencing layer (or “sequencer”) intercepts transactional inputs and places them into a global transactional input sequence—this sequence will be the order of transactions to which all replicas will ensure serial equivalence during their execution. The sequencer therefore also handles the replication and logging of this input sequence.

The scheduling layer (or “scheduler”) orchestrates transaction execution using a deterministic locking scheme to guarantee equivalence to the serial order specified by the sequencing layer while allowing transactions to be executed concurrently by a pool of transaction execution threads

The storage layer handles all physical data layout.

Sequencer and Replication

[note]: epoch here does not mean the same as concensus epoch for validators

10-second epochs during which every machine’s sequencer component collects transaction requests from clients. At the end of each epoch, all requests that have arrived at a sequencer node are compiled into a batch. This is the point at which replication of transactional inputs occurs.


Deterministic database systems have two properties that simplify the task of ensuring fault tolerance. First, active replication allows clients to instantaneously failover to another replica in the event of a crash. Second, only the transactional input is logged—there is no need to pay the overhead of physical REDO logging. Replaying history of transactional input is sufficient to recover the database system to the current state. However, it would be inefficient to replay the entire history of the database from the beginning of time upon every failure. Instead, the network operations* periodically takes a checkpoint of the network state in order to provide a starting point from which to begin replay during recovery. This is defined in the network configuration file.

Checkpoint Oracle

see checkpoint oracle

Last update: June 27, 2020