Strange Loop

September 26-28 2018


Peabody Opera House


St. Louis, MO

Raft - The Understandable Distributed Protocol

For the last decade, Paxos has been the de facto standard in distributed protocols. Unfortunately, Paxos is difficult to understand and even harder to implement. The implementors of Google's distributed lock system called "Chubby" even stated that there were many gaps in Paxos when it came to real world implementation.

Recently a new distributed protocol has come out of research at Stanford called Raft. Raft is built for real world applications and a primary concern in the development of the protocol was understandability. This talk will walk you through the Raft protocol and how it works.

Ben Johnson

Skyland Labs, LLC

Ten years of software development experience working in database architecture, distributed systems and data visualization. Lead developer of the Sky behavioral database project ( and lead developer of the Go implementation of the Raft protocol (