A client-centric approach to transactional datastores
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Modern applications must collect and store massive amounts of data. Cloud storage offers these applications simplicity: the abstraction of a failure-free, perfectly scalable black-box. While appealing, offloading data to the cloud is not without its challenges. These cloud storage systems often favour weaker levels of isolation and consistency. These weaker guarantees introduce behaviours that, without care, can break application logic. Offloading data to an untrusted third party like the cloud also raises questions of security and privacy. This thesis seeks to improve the performance, the semantics and the security of transactional cloud storage systems. It centers around a simple idea: defining consistency guarantees from the perspective of the applications that observe these guarantees, rather than from the perspective of the systems that implement them. This new perspective brings forth several benefits. First, it offers simpler and cleaner definitions of weak isolation and consistency guarantees. Second, it enables scalable implementations of existing guarantees like causal consistency. Finally, it has applications to security: it allows us to efficienctly augment transactional cloud storage systems with obliviousness guarantees
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