Carbyne Accepted to Appear at OSDI’2016

Update: Camera-ready version is available here now!

With the wide adoption of distributed data-parallel applications, large-scale resource scheduling has become a constant source of innovation in recent years. There are tens of scheduling solutions that try to optimize for objectives such as user-level fairness, application-level performance, and cluster-level efficiency. However, given the well-known tradeoffs between fairness, performance, and efficiency, these solutions have traditionally focused on one primary objective (e.g., fairness in case of DRF), and they consider other objectives as best effort, secondary goals.

In this paper, we revisit the tradeoff space, demonstrating out that aggressively focusing on optimizing one primary objective while giving up the rest often does not matter much. Because a job cannot complete until all its tasks have completed, each job can altruistically yield some of its resources without hampering its own completion time. These altruistic resources can then be rescheduled among other jobs to significantly improve secondary objectives without hampering the first. Benefits of our approach is visible even for single-stage jobs, and they increase as jobs have more complex DAGs.

Given the well-known tradeoffs between performance, fairness, and efficiency, modern cluster schedulers focus on aggressively optimizing a single objective, while ignoring the rest. However, short-term convergence to a selected objective often does not result in noticeable long-term benefits. Instead, we propose an altruistic, long-term approach, where jobs yield fractions of their allocated resources without impacting their own completion times.

We show that leftover resources collected via altruisms of many jobs can then be rescheduled, essentially introducing a third degree of freedom in cluster scheduling — in addition to inter- and intra-job scheduling. We leverage this new-found flexibility in Carbyne, a scheduler that combines three existing schedulers to simultaneously optimize cluster-wide performance, fairness, and efficiency. Deployments and large-scale simulations on industrial benchmarks and production traces show that Carbyne closely approximates the state-of-the-art solutions for each of the three objectives simultaneously. For example, Carbyne provides 1.26X better efficiency and 1.59X lower average completion time than DRF, while providing similar fairness guarantees.

Altruistic scheduling has many more use cases; e.g., we had a similar observation for coflow scheduling in Varys.

This work started as a collaboration with Robert Grandl and Aditya Akella toward the end of 2015. Ganesh Ananthanarayanan from MSR later joined us to take it to the next level.  After CODA, this is related to another future work (the seventh) from my dissertation; infer whatever you want to out of these two data points ;)

This year the OSDI PC accepted 47 out of 260 papers. This happens to be my first time submitting to OSDI. It’s also my first paper with Ganesh, even though it happened after we both graduated from Berkeley; we sat opposite to each other for four years back then! I also want to thank Aditya for letting me work closely with Robert; it’s been great collaborating with them.

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