System Design Interview Topic: CAP Theorem

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January 26, 2023

Distributed Systems  System Design Interview 

The CAP theorem, also known as Brewer’s theorem, states that it is impossible for a distributed computer system to simultaneously provide all three of the following guarantees:

  1. Consistency: All nodes in the system see the same data at the same time.
  2. Availability: Every request receives a response about whether it was successful or failed.
  3. Partition tolerance: The system continues to operate despite arbitrary message loss or failure of part of the system.

The CAP theorem states that a distributed system can only provide two of the three guarantees at any given time. This means that when designing a distributed system, a trade-off must be made between consistency and availability, or consistency and partition tolerance. For example, a system that prioritizes consistency may sacrifice availability, or a system that prioritizes availability may sacrifice consistency.

*** Created by ChatGPT on Jan 26, 2023.