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Maintaining Consistency in a Massively Parallel Environment

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Published on Jul 11, 2013

Dinah McNutt, Google, Inc.
Presented at the 2013 USENIX Configuration Management Summit (UCMS '13)

Making changes to systems in a highly-distributed, massively parallel environment can result in system inconsistencies. Change requests can time out or result in error. It can also take hours for updates to get scheduled or complete.

This talk describes how Google is using its proprietary package manager to maintain consistency across its server farm. We describe some of the design decisions and features that allow us to do things traditional package managers cannot in order to ensure consistency. We also discuss creative ways projects are leveraging the architecture and our infrastructure to distribute changes reliably and consistently.

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