State Machine Replication - Historical Background

Historical Background

Leslie Lamport was the first to propose the state machine approach, in his seminal 1984 paper on "Using Time Instead of Timeout In Distributed Systems". Fred Schneider later elaborated the approach in his paper "Implementing Fault-Tolerant Services Using the State Machine Approach: A Tutorial".

Ken Birman developed the virtual synchrony model in a series of papers published between 1985 and 1987. The primary reference to this work is "Exploiting Virtual Synchrony in Distributed Systems", which describes the Isis Toolkit, a system that was used to build the New York and Swiss Stock Exchanges, French Air Traffic Control System, US Navy AEGIS Warship, and other applications.

Recent work by Miguel Castro and Barbara Liskov used the state machine approach in what they call a "Practical Byzantine fault tolerance" architecture that replicates especially sensitive services using a version of Lamport's original state machine approach, but with optimizations that substantially improve performance.

Most recently, there was also created the BFT-SMaRt library, a high-performance Byzantine fault-tolerant state machine replication library developed in Java. This library implements a protocol very similar to PBFT's, plus complementary protocols which offer state transfer and on-the-fly reconfiguration of hosts (i.e., JOIN and LEAVE operations). BFT-SMaRt is the most recent effort to implement state machine replication, still being actively maintained.

Read more about this topic:  State Machine Replication

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