Why it matters
Over a decade has passed since Eric Brewer presented his now famous Brewer's Conjecture, which laypeople ultimately learned as the CAP theorem. It got us all thinking that the ability to scale out -- represented by "Partition tolerance" (the "P" in "CAP") -- might be important enough to abandon something as sacrosanct as data consistency within an application. He was right. Today, two attributes reign supreme for online applications: availability and performance. Without both, it's nearly impossible to satisfy the insatiable flow of data and unyielding demands from users.
Eric Brewer has continued to refine his understanding of the CAP theorem in light of new technologies. At the same time, developers, architects, and database administrators are advancing their understandings of such trade-offs. At least, they're realizing we don't live in a one-size-fits-all world and must employ the right technologies for the right job. Those who free their minds of relational misconceptions will harness the power and opportunity provided by this new world of diverse database technologies.
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