May 24, 2017

Scaling HDFS to more than 1 million operations per second with HopsFS

IEEE Scale Prize Winning submission, May 2017. Heavy on database optimizations in HopsFS' metadata layer.

Authors

Salman Niazi, Mahmoud Ismail, Mikael Ronström, Seif Haridi, Jim Dowling.

Abstract

HopsFS is an open-source, next generation distribution of the Apache Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) that replaces the main scalability bottleneck in HDFS, single node in-memory metadata service, with a no-shared state distributed system built on a NewSQL database. By removing the metadata bottleneck in Apache HDFS, HopsFS enables significantly larger cluster sizes, more than an order of magnitude higher throughput, and significantly lower client latencies for large clusters. In this paper, we detail the techniques and optimizations that enable HopsFS to surpass 1 million file system operations per second - at least 16 times higher throughput than HDFS. In particular, we discuss how we exploit recent high performance features from NewSQL databases, such as application defined partitioning, partition-pruned index scans, and distribution aware transactions. Together with more traditional techniques, such as batching and write-ahead caches, we show how many incremental optimizations have enabled a revolution in distributed hierarchical file system performance.

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