Sinbad accepted to appear at SIGCOMM’2013

Update: Latest version is available here!

Our paper on leveraging flexibility in endpoint placement, aka Sinbad/Usher/Orchestrated File System (OFS), has been accepted for publication at this year’s SIGCOMM. We introduce constrained anycast in data-intensive clusters in the form of network-aware replica placement for cluster/distributed file systems. This is the second piece of my dissertation research, where the overarching goal is to push slightly more application semantics into the network to get disproportionately larger improvements. Sometimes things are unfair in a good way!

Many applications do not constraint the destinations of their network transfers. New opportunities emerge when such transfers contribute a large amount of network bytes. By choosing the endpoints to avoid congested links, completion times of these transfers as well as that of others without similar flexibility can be improved. In this paper, we focus on leveraging the flexibility in replica placement during writes to cluster file systems (CFSes), which account for almost half of the cross-rack traffic in data-intensive clusters. CFS writes only require placing replicas in multiple fault domains and a balanced use of storage, but the replicas can be in any subset of machines in the cluster.

We study CFS interactions with the cluster network, analyze optimizations for replica placement, and propose Sinbad – a system that identifies imbalance and adapts replica destinations to navigate around congested links. Sinbad does so with little impact on long-term storage load balance. Experiments on EC2 (trace-driven simulations) show that block writes complete 1.3x(1.58x) faster as the network becomes more balanced. As a collateral benefit, the end-to-end completion times of data-intensive jobs improve by up to 1.26x. Trace-driven simulations also show that Sinbad’s improvements (1.58x) is close to that of a loose upper bound (1.89x) of the optimal.

This is a joint work with Srikanth Kandula and Ion Stoica. One cool fact is that we collaborated with Srikanth almost entirely over Skype for almost a year! I did take up a lot of his time from his Summer interns, but most of them had their papers in too. There are a LOT of people to thank including Yuan Zhong, Matei Zaharia, Gautam Kumar, Dave Maltz, Ganesh Ananthanarayanan, Ali Ghodsi, Raj Jain, and everyone else I’m forgetting right now. It took quite some time to put our ideas crisply in few pages, but in the end the reception was great from the PC. We hope it will be useful in practice too.

This year the SIGCOMM PC accepted 38 papers out of 240 submissions with a 15.83% acceptance rate. This is the highest acceptance rate since 1996 (before Ion Stoica had any SIGCOMM paper) and the highest number of papers accepted since 1987 (before Scott Shenker had any paper in SIGCOMM)!

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