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How can W < N? am I misunderstanding W?

W = minimum write nodes.
N = nodes in the quorum group

I understand W+R>N - that if the client reads from enough nodes the inconsistency will be detected, but how can a write operation even be declared successful before it has reached N number of nodes? What if another write operation would reach Quorum first?


Course: Grokking the System Design Interview - Learn Interactively
Lesson: Quorum (New) - Grokking the System Design Interview