Martin Thompson on Aeron, Binary vs Text for Message Encoding, and Raft
Published May 7, 2018
34 min
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    Martin Thompson discusses consensus in distributed systems, and how Aeron uses Raft for clustering in the upcoming release. Martin is a Java Champion with over 2 decades of experience building complex and high-performance computing systems. He is most recently known for his work on Aeron and Simple Binary Encoding (SBE). Previously at LMAX he was the co-founder and CTO when he created the Disruptor.  * Aeron is a messaging system designed for modern multi-core hardware. It is highly performant with a first class design goal of making it easy to monitor and understand at runtime. The product is able to simultaneously achieve the lowest latency and highest throughput of any messaging system available today. Why listen to this podcast: * Aeron uses a binary format on the wire rather than a text based protocol. This is largely done for performance reasons. Text is commonly used in messaging to make debugging simpler but the debugging problem can be solved using tools like Wireshark and the dissectors that come with it. * In a forthcoming release of Aeron will support clustering. Raft was chosen over PAXOS for this since it is more strict. This means that there are fewer potential states the system can be in making it easier to reason about. * RAFT is an RPC-based protocol, expecting synchronous interactions. Aeron is asynchronous by its nature, but the underlying Aeron protocol was designed to support consensus, meaning that a lot of things which would typically need to be done synchronously can be done asynchronously and/or in parallel. * Static clusters will be added first to Aeron, with dynamic clustering after that, and then cryptography again with the intention of keeping the latency and throughput high. (edited) More on this: Quick scan our curated show notes on InfoQ You can also subscribe to the InfoQ newsletter to receive weekly updates on the hottest topics from professional software development. Subscribe: Like InfoQ on Facebook: Follow on Twitter: Follow on LinkedIn: Check the landing page on InfoQ:
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