External Timelock Service

The AtlasDB Timelock Service is an external implementation of the Timestamp and Lock services. Running an external Timelock Service (as opposed to running timestamp and lock services embedded within one’s clients) provides several benefits:

  • Additional reliability; we have subjected our new implementation to Jepsen testing, and do not rely on the consistency of the user’s key-value services.

  • The number of AtlasDB clients can scale independently of AtlasDB’s timestamp and lock services, and an odd number of AtlasDB clients is no longer necessarily preferred. An odd number of Timelock servers is still preferred.

  • Resource contention between your AtlasDB clients and the timestamp and lock services can be better managed, because external timestamp services may be run on separate servers and/or JVMs (while the old embedded services had to be run on the same server, and within the same JVM).

  • Timestamp and Lock endpoints are no longer mounted on AtlasDB clients and can be hidden from users, making abuse more difficult.

  • Timelock Services can be run in clustered mode, allowing for high availability as long as a majority quorum of nodes exists.

  • AtlasDB client services running in HA mode may potentially become stateless, possibly simplifying deployability, availability and backup stories. Previously, these services would keep track of Paxos information on the local disk.

  • Upgrades to the timestamp and lock services are generally independent of user versions/upgrades, allowing for easier administration in general.