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Global-OT is a technology for developing eventually consistent distributed data storages on the scale of the Internet with transactional semantics and automatic conflict resolution, using OT (operational transformation) algorithms. Global-OT provides developers full application stack, with set of specifications and implementations to build applications using principles which conceptually resemble Git, but in a more advanced and multi-purpose way.

The main features of Global-OT are:

  • Data storing and sharing security

    • All data is organized as commit graphs and stored in repositories. They can be accessed by public key and name.
    • Repositories are securely protected from possible third-party modifications:
    • Only owner of private key can sign and push commits to repository
    • Commits authenticity can be verified by repository public key
    • Commits can optionally be encrypted
    • Commits are content addressable (commit id is hash of the commit and its parents), which makes entire history of commit graphs immutable.
  • User-defined data types and working with commit graph of any complexity:

    • Global-OT can work with any user-defined data types. This data is stored in nodes of commit graphs. The edges of commit graphs store user-defined operations which can be applied to the data.
    • Global-OT uses user-defined OT-rules, which enables to merge conflict operations without data loss.
    • Global-OT framework automatically merges commit graphs of any complexity, using a special algorithm of recursive merging. It splits complex commit graph to atomic OT operations.

Global-OT network design:

Global-OT has a fully decentralized multi-tier network design:

  1. Client applications layer - all Global-OT applications, such as mobile and desktop applications or even a server.
  2. P2P Global-OT servers layer which can be split in two logical layers:
    • Master OT-Servers (store original repositories)
    • Caching OT-Servers (store cache of repositories)
  3. P2P Discovery Service layer - has a DNS-like role, stores information about IPs and public keys of the uploaded repositories.

This solution provides the following features:

  • There is no need for central lock service or ZooKeeper-like services.
  • Global-OT servers can be installed near data consumers (in the same datacenter, on ISP last mile, or even embedded directly into application) - which means extremely low latencies and highest data availability.
  • Since commit graphs are immutable, Global-OT allows caching and prefetching:
    • Users can connect to any Global-OT servers worldwide to get cached or prefetched commits of any repository
    • Network scales naturally under load - the more a certain repository is accessed, the more of its cached copies are created
  • This network design provides high fault tolerance and allows to process concurrent commits from numerous sources simultaneously
  • All Global-OT servers are interchangeable and application-agnostic (any Global-OT server can work with any Global-OT applications or repositories).

Some possible use cases

Global-OT has a multi-purpose protocol and is not bound to specific tasks. That's why it is applicable to various solutions, for example:

  • Applications for collaborative text editing
  • OLAP/OLTP databases with commit semantics
  • Instant messenger application
  • Global Cloud storage

You can experience how OT works by checking out our demo Global-OT application.

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