July 5, 2019

Scalable Block Reporting for HopsFS - Best Student Paper award at IEEE BigDataCongress’19

New version of block reporting protocol for HopsFS that uses up to 1/1000th of the resources of HDFS' block reporting protocol. IEEE BigDataCongress’19.

Authors

Mahmoud Ismail, August Bonds, Salman Niazi, Seif Haridi, Jim Dowling.

Abstract

Distributed hierarchical file systems typically decouple the storage of the file system's metadata from the data (file system blocks) to enable the scalability of the file system. This decoupling, however, requires the introduction of a periodic synchronization protocol to ensure the consistency of the file system's metadata and its blocks. Apache HDFS and HopsFS implement a protocol, called block reporting, where each data server periodically sends ground truth information about all its file system blocks to the metadata servers, allowing the metadata to be synchronized with the actual state of the data blocks in the file system. The network and processing overhead of the existing block reporting protocol, however, increases with cluster size, ultimately limiting cluster scalability. In this paper, we introduce a new block reporting protocol for HopsFS that reduces the protocol bandwidth and processing overhead by up to three orders of magnitude, compared to HDFS/HopsFS' existing protocol. Our new protocol removes a major bottleneck that prevented HopsFS clusters scaling to tens of thousands of servers.

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