PDL Abstract

Database Servers on Chip Multiprocessors: Limitations and Opportunities

Proceedings of the 3rd Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR), January 7-10, 2007, Asilomar, California, USA.

Nikos Hardavellas, Ippokratis Pandis, Ryan Johnson, Naju G. Mancheril, Anastassia Ailamaki and Babak Falsafi

School of Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Prior research shows that database system performance is dominated by off-chip data stalls, resulting in a concerted effort to bring data into on-chip caches. At the same time, high levels of integration have enabled the advent of chip multiprocessors and increasingly large (and slow) on-chip caches. These two trends pose the imminent technical and research challenge of adapting high-performance data management software to a shifting hardware landscape. In this paper we characterize the performance of a commercial database server running on emerging chip multiprocessor technologies. We find that the major bottleneck of current software is data cache stalls, with L2 hit stalls rising from
oblivion to become the dominant execution time component in some cases. We analyze the source of this shift and derive a list of features for future database designs to attain maximum performance.

KEYWORDS: Database Engine. Performance Characterization. Chip Multiprocessors. Staged Database Systems.