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No, it does mean always available - honestly :)

If there is some time period during which requests are not responded to within a time bound, the system is not available then, and further is not a 'highly' or 100% available system. That is what the CAP theorem is talking about.

Consistency, similarly, is not a state but a property that holds across all responses. Either you return a consistent response to all your requests, or you don't. In the context of CAP, there is no middle ground.




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