Advantages of Immutable Data

I was reading about two of Google’s internal programs, Bigtable and Google File System, and how they handle a large amounts of data so that the processing is distributed (Bigtable) and the data is replicated (Google File System). One thing they both do is exploit immutability. So once something is saved to disk, that block of data doesn’t change. If you have a large volume of data, this assumption can be very useful.

Let’s say we’re talking about a transaction table for bank accounts. Records in the transaction table don’t change. Any corrections are handled by creating a new transaction record at the tail end of the table. If you are processing the transactions, this is great! You can ignore previously processed records since you know they will never change.

About Clay Lenhart

I am a DBA/Technical Architect for Latitude Group and love technology.
This entry was posted in Architecture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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