ACM Transactions on Computer Systems (TOCS), Vol. 34, No. 2, April 2016.
Sheng Li*, Hyeontaek Lim, Victor Lee*, Jung Ho Ahn^, Anuj Kalia, Michael Kaminsky*, David G. Andersen, Seongil O^, Sukhan Lee^, Pradeep Dubey*Carnegie Mellon University
Distributed in-memory key-value stores (KVSs), such as memcached, have become a critical data serving layer in modern Internet-oriented data center infrastructure. Their performance and efficiency directly affect the QoS of web services and the efficiency of data centers. Traditionally, these systems have had significant overheads from inefficient network processing, OS kernel involvement, and concurrency control. Two recent research thrusts have focused on improving key-value performance. Hardware- centric research has started to explore specialized platforms including FPGAs for KVSs; results demonstrated an order of magnitude increase in throughput and energy efficiency over stock memcached. Software-centric research revisited the KVS application to address fundamental software bottlenecks and to exploit the full potential of modern commodity hardware; these efforts also showed orders of magnitude improvement over stock memcached.
We aim at architecting high-performance and efficient KVS platforms, and start with a rigorous architectural characterization across system stacks over a collection of representative KVS implementations. Our detailed full-system characterization not only identifies the critical hardware/software ingredients for high-performance KVS systems but also leads to guided optimizations atop a recent design to achieve a record-setting throughput of 120 million requests per second (MRPS) (167MRPS with client-side batching) on a single commodity server. Our system delivers the best performance and energy efficiency (RPS/watt) demonstrated to date over existing KVSs including the best-published FPGA-based and GPU-based claims. We craft a set of design principles for future platform architectures, and via detailed simulations demonstrate the capability of achieving a billion RPS with a single server constructed following our principles.
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