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Jeff Rasley, Konstantinos Karanasos, Srikanth Kandula, Rodrigo Fonseca, Milan Vojnovic, and Sriram Rao

We observe several anomalies in how modern cluster schedulers manage task queues. On one hand, centralized schedulers such as YARN do not queue tasks at the worker machines. Instead, the scheduler assigns tasks to machines whenever they report resource availability. Consequently, the inherent feedback delays affect cluster utilization, particularly when cluster workloads are increasingly dominated by tasks of short duration. On the other hand, distributed schedulers
have such queues but fail to...

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2016
Type: Inproceeding
James Bornholt, Randolph Lopez, Douglas M. Carmean, Luis Ceze, Georg Seelig, and Karin Strauss

Demand for data storage is growing exponentially, but the capacity of existing storage media is not keeping up. Using DNA to archive data is an attractive possibility because it is extremely dense, with a raw limit of 1 exabyte per cubic millimeter, and long-lasting, with observed half-life of over 500 years.

This paper presents an architecture for a DNA-backed archival storage system. It is structured as a key-value store, and leverages common biochemical techniques to provide random access. We...

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2016
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Publication details
Date: 1 April 2016
Type: Inproceeding
Qing Guo, Karin Strauss, Luis Ceze, and Rico Malvar

This paper proposes tailoring image encoding for an approximate storage substrate, developing an approximation-aware encoding algorithm. We develop a methodology to determine relative importance of encoded bits and store them in an approximate storage substrate that we tune to match their error tolerance. We present a case study with the progressive transform codec (PTC), a precursor to JPEG XR, and a phase-change memory (PCM) storage substrate that is optimized to minimize errors via biasing and tuned...

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2016
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Yang Li, Di Wang, Saugata Ghose, Jie Liu, Sriram Govindan, Sean James, Eric Peterson, John Siegler, Rachata Ausavarungnirun, and Onur Mutlu

Fuel cells are a promising power source for future data centers, offering high energy efficiency, low greenhouse gas emissions, and high reliability. However, due to mechanical limitations related to fuel delivery, fuel cells are slow to adjust to sudden increases in data center power demands, which can result in temporary power shortfalls. To mitigate the impact of power shortfalls, prior work has proposed to either perform power capping by throttling the servers, or by leveraging energy storage...

Publication details
Date: 12 March 2016
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: the 22nd IEEE Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA)
Trinabh Gupta, Natacha Crooks, Whitney Mulhern, Srinath Setty, Lorenzo Alvisi, and Michael Walfish
Publication details
Date: 1 March 2016
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association
Ian A. Kash and Peter B. Key
Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Nimantha Baranasuriya, Vishnu Navda, Venkata N. Padmanabhan, and Seth Gilbert

Mobile communication is often frustratingly slow. When a user encounters poor performance, and perhaps even “confirms” the same by running a speed test, the tendency is to ascribe blame to the user’s last-mile provider. However, as we argue in this paper, a more nuanced approach is needed to identify the location of the bottleneck responsible for the poor performance. Specifically, we focus on the question of whether the bottleneck lies in the cellular last hop (3G or LTE link) or elsewhere in the WAN...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Rajat Kateja, Nimantha Baranasuriya, Vishnu Navda, and Venkata N. Padmanabhan

Real-time, interactive streaming for applications such as audio-video conferencing (e.g., Skype) and cloud-based gaming depends critically on the network providing low latency, jitter, and packet loss, much more so than on-demand streaming (e.g., YouTube) does. However, WiFi networks pose a challenge; our analysis of data from a large VoIP provider and from our own measurements shows that the WiFi access link is a significant cause of poor streaming experience.

To improve streaming quality over...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Dan Alistarh, Jennifer Iglesias, and Milan Vojnovic

In many applications, the structure of data can be represented by a hyper-graph, where the data items are vertices, and the associations among items are represented by hyper-edges. Equivalently, we are given as input a bipartite graph with two kinds of vertices: items, and associations (which we refer to as topics). We consider the problem of partitioning the set of items into a given number of partitions, such that the maximum number of topics covered by a partition is minimized.

This is a...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Bimal Viswanath, Muhammad Ahmad Bashir, Muhammad Bilal Zafar, Simon Bouget, Saikat Guha, Krishna Gummadi, Aniket Kate, and Alan Mislove
Publication details
Date: 1 November 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Aleksandar Dragojević, Dushyanth Narayanan, Edmund B Nightingale, Matthew Renzelmann, Alex Shamis, Anirudh Badam, and Miguel Castro

Transactions with strong consistency and high availability simplify building and reasoning about distributed systems. However, previous implementations performed poorly. This forced system designers to avoid transactions completely, to weaken consistency guarantees, or to provide single-machine transactions that require programmers to partition their data. In this paper, we show that there is no need to compromise in modern data centers. We show that a main memory distributed computing platform called...

Publication details
Date: 5 October 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Chris Hawblitzel, Jon Howell, Manos Kapritsos, Jacob R. Lorch, Bryan Parno, Michael L. Roberts, Srinath Setty, and Brian Zill

Distributed systems are notorious for harboring subtle bugs. Verification can, in principle, eliminate these bugs a priori, but verification has historically been difficult to apply at full-program scale, much less distributed-system scale.

We describe a methodology for building practical and provably correct distributed systems based on a unique blend of TLA-style state-machine refinement and Hoare-logic verification. We demonstrate the methodology on a complex implementation of a Paxos-based...

Publication details
Date: 5 October 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Anirudh Badam, Ranveer Chandra, Jon Dutra, Anthony Ferrese, Steve Hodges, Pan Hu, Julia Meinershagen, Thomas Moscibroda, Bodhi Priyantha, and Evangelia Skiani

Different battery chemistries perform better on different axes, such as energy density, cost, peak power, recharge time, longevity, and efficiency. Mobile system designers are constrained by existing technology, and are forced to select a single chemistry that best meets their diverse needs,
thereby compromising other desirable features. In this paper, we present a new hardware-software system, called Software Defined Battery (SDB), which allows system designers to integrate batteries of different...

Publication details
Date: 5 October 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Veselin Raychev, Madanlal Musuvathi, and Todd Mytkowicz

User-defined aggregations (UDAs) are integral to large-scale data-processing systems, such as MapReduce and Hadoop, because they let programmers express application-specific aggregation logic. System-supported associative aggregations, such as counting or finding the maximum, are data-parallel and thus these systems optimize their execution, leading in many cases to orders-of-magnitude performance improvements. These optimizations, however, are not possible on arbitrary UDAs.

This paper presents...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association
Rayman Preet Singh, Chenguang Shen, Amar Phanishayee, Aman Kansal, and Ratul Mahajan
Publication details
Date: 1 October 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: USENIX
Abdullah-Al Mamun, Iyswarya Narayanan, Di Wang, Anand Sivasubramaniam, and Hosam K. Fathy
Publication details
Date: 1 October 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: ASME
Bhanu Vattikonda, Vacha Dave, Saikat Guha, and Alex C. Scoeren
Publication details
Date: 1 October 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Hongqiang Harry Liu, Raajay Viswanathan, Matt Calder, Aditya Akella, Ratul Mahajan, Jitendra Padhye, and Ming Zhang

We present Footprint, a system for delivering online services in the increasingly common “integrated” setting, where the same provider operates multiple elements of the infrastructure (e.g., proxies, data centers, and a wide area network). Such integration can boost system efficiency and performance by finely modulating how traffic enters and traverses the infrastructure. We show how such modulation can be practically realized using a model that faithfully captures the complex, time-varying dynamics of...

Publication details
Date: 25 September 2015
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2015-73
Vageesh Chandramouli, Abhijnan Chakraborty, Vishnu Navda, Saikat Guha, Venkata Padmanabhan, and Ramachandran Ramjee

User data is siloed in mobile apps today. Where one app may hold the user’s flight booking, another app the user’s cab reservation, with little data sharing between the two, resulting in a fragmented user experience. For instance, if a user, who has just booked a flight using one app, wishes to pre-book a cab from the airport, they would have to do so by manually re-entering the data from the flight app (e.g., location, date, time) into the cab app.

To enable the user to retake control of their...

Publication details
Date: 15 September 2015
Type: Proceedings
Duc Hoang Bui, Yunxin Liu, Hyosu Kim, Insik Shin, and Feng Zhao

Web browsing is a key application on mobile devices. However, mobile browsers are largely optimized for performance, imposing a significant burden on power-hungry mobile devices. In this work, we aim to reduce the energy consumed to load web pages on smartphones, preferably without increasing page load time and compromising user experience. To this end, we first study the internals of web page loading on smartphones and identify its energyinefficient behaviors. Based on our findings, we then derive...

Publication details
Date: 1 September 2015
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Syed Kamran Haider and Dan Alistarh

High memory contention is generally agreed to be a worst-case scenario for concurrent data structures. There has been a significant amount of research effort spent investigating designs which minimize contention, and several programming techniques have been proposed to mitigate its effects. However, there are currently few architectural mechanisms to allow scaling contended data structures at high thread counts.

In this paper, we investigate hardware support for scalable contended data...

Publication details
Date: 1 September 2015
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2015-71
Ioan Stefanovici, Eno Thereska, Greg O'Shea, Bianca Schroeder, Hitesh Ballani, Thomas Karagiannis, Ant Rowstron, and Tom Talpey

In data centers, caches work both to provide low IO latencies and to reduce the load on the back-end network and storage. But they are not designed for multi-tenancy; system-level caches today cannot be configured to match tenant or provider objectives. Exacerbating the problemis the increasing number of un-coordinated caches on the IO data plane. The lack of global visibility on the control plane to coordinate this distributed set of caches leads to inefficiencies, increasing cloud provider cost....

Publication details
Date: 27 August 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Yibo Zhu, Haggai Eran, Daniel Firestone, Chuanxiong Guo, Marina Lipshteyn, Yehonatan Liron, Jitendra Padhye, Shachar Raindel, Mohamad Haj Yahia, and Ming Zhang

Modern datacenter applications demand high throughput (40Gbps) and ultra-low latency (< 10 microsecond per hop) from the network, with low CPU overhead. Standard TCP/IP stacks cannot meet these requirements, but Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) can. On IP-routed datacenter networks, RDMA is deployed using RoCEv2 protocol, which relies on Priority-based Flow Control (PFC) to enable a drop-free network. However, PFC can lead to poor application performance due to problems like head-of-line...

Publication details
Date: 17 August 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Ming Wu, Fan Yang, Jilong Xue, Wencong Xiao, Youshan Miao, Lan Wei, Haoxiang Lin, Yafei Dai, and Lidong Zhou

GRAM is an efficient and scalable graph engine for a large class of widely used graph algorithms. It is designed to scale up to multicores on a single server, as well as scale out to multiple servers in a cluster, offering significant, often over an order-of-magnitude, improvement over existing distributed graph engines on evaluated graph algorithms. GRAM is also capable of processing graphs that are significantly larger than previously reported. In particular, using 64 servers (1,024 physical cores),...

Publication details
Date: 1 August 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
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