What is eventual consistency? - Definition from WhatIs.com


eventual consistency

Part of the Data centers glossary:

Eventual consistency is a characteristic of distributed computing systems such that the value for a specific data item will, given enough time without updates, be consistent across all nodes

Accordingly, the value across all nodes will be consistent with the last update that was made -- eventually. Before enough time has elapsed without updates, however, the value may be inconsistent across multiple copies of the data. Eventual consistency is only acceptable for fault-tolerant applications.

In distributed computing environments, the CAP theorem postulates that it is impossible to simultaneously guarantee consistency, availability and partition tolerance (CAP) and that administrators have to select the two out of three that are most important to them. 

Eventual consistency is also known as optimistic replication


This was last updated in April 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    - Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third-party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. (WhatIs.com)

  • RTA (recovery time actual)

    - RTA (recovery time actual) is the amount of real-world time it takes for an organization to recover its systems and business processes following an unplanned disruption; that amount of time can dif... (WhatIs.com)

  • white box server

    - A white box server is a generic server made from commercially available retail computer parts. The phrase "white box" merely indicates that the equipment is generic or brand-agnostic -- the server ... (SearchDataCenter.com)


  • Data centers

    - Terms related to data centers, including definitions about network operations centers (NOCs) and words and phrases about the storage, management and the transmission of data.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.