Google’s lesson learned: distributed transactions matter

In retrospect I think that [not supporting distributed transactions] was a mistake. We probably should have added that in because what ended up happening is a lot of people did want distributed transactions, and so they hand-rolled their own protocols, sometimes incorrectly, and it would have been better to build it into the infrastructure. So in Spanner we do have distributed transactions. We don’t have a lot of experience with it yet.

–Jeff Dean, in response to “What was the biggest mistake?” at the end of his Stanford EE380 lecture (note: video has since been replaced with that of another lecture)

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