An Introduction to the Raft Distributed Consensus Algorithm

1:30pm - 1:55pm on Friday, October 6 in Madison

Laura Hampton

Audience Level:


Computing infrastructure is becoming increasingly distributed, but how do these systems work? This talk will introduce the Raft distributed consensus algorithm as implemented in Python. It will cover how Raft works, and how it solves the problem of replicating data across multiple nodes.


Individual computers are prone to failure, and are often unable to cope with demands for high availability, low latency, and ability to handle large volumes of data and traffic. These demands will only increase in the future. Systems in which a consensus algorithm orchestrates a coherent group of replicated state machines have emerged as a way to meet these demands. These systems offer fault tolerance and resilience while allowing users to interact with what appears to be a single machine.

This talk will offer a brief discussion of distributed systems and an introduction to the Raft distributed consensus algorithm, implemented in Python. Raft is used by MongoDB and Docker Swarm, among other technologies. In this talk, you will learn how Raft works, and how it solves the problems presented by replicating data across multiple machines.

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