What is eventual consistency? - Definition from WhatIs.com


eventual consistency

Part of the Data center management 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


  • Supermicro

    - Supermicro is a company that specializes in x86-64 server technology. The company targets consumer and enterprise markets and maintains a focus on power efficiency and green technology. (searchConvergedIT.com)

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    - Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or public cloud storage service. (SearchCloudStorage.com)

  • cloud computing

    - Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. (searchCloudComputing.com)


  • Data center management

    - 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.