Basically Available, Soft State, Eventual Consistency

What Does Basically Available, Soft State, Eventual Consistency Mean?

Basically Available, Soft State, Eventual Consistency (BASE) is a data system design philosophy that prizes availability over consistency of operations. BASE was developed as an alternative for producing more scalable and affordable data architectures, providing more options to expanding enterprises/IT clients and simply acquiring more hardware to expand data operations.


Techopedia Explains Basically Available, Soft State, Eventual Consistency

BASE may be explained in contrast to another design philosophy – Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability (ACID). The ACID model promotes consistency over availability, whereas BASE promotes availability over consistency.

Experts have noted that BASE requires a level of "failure," or lack of consistency, that makes a data operation run less effectively without overburdening users. An example is when a designer relaxes the consistency of a financial transactional database by allowing for lag time between a transaction and account updates. Allowing less constantly updated data gives developers the freedom to build other efficiencies into the overall system. In other words, elements like consistency and availability often are viewed as resource competitors, where adjusting one can impact another. In BASE, engineers embrace the idea that data has the flexibility to be "eventually" updated, resolved or made consistent, rather than instantly resolved.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.