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Reintroducing Consistency in Cloud Settings

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  1. Ken Birman, Cornell University Reintroducing Consistency in Cloud Settings

  2. Massive Cloud Platforms Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  3. … and a Live, Collaborative Web The “realtime web” Simple ways tocreate and sharecollaboration and social network applications [Try it! http://liveobjects.cs.cornell.edu] • Examples: Live Objects, Google “Wave”, Javascript/AJAX, Silverlight, Java Fx, Adobe FLEX and AIR, etc…. Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  4. Rediscovering a Lost World… • Cloud computing entails building massive distributed systems • They use replicated data, sharded relational databases, parallelism • Brewer’s “CAP theorem:” Must sacrifice Consistency for Availability & Performance • Cloud providers believe this theorem • My view: We gave up on consistency too easily Long ago, we knew how to build reliable, consistent distributed systems.

  5. Why do people believe in CAP? • Partly, superstition…. • … albeit backed by some painful experiences

  6. Consistency can hurt! Don’t believe me? Just ask the people who really know…

  7. eBay’s Five Commandments • As described by Randy Shoup at LADIS 2008 Thou shalt… 1. Partition Everything 2. Use AsynchronyEverywhere 3. Automate Everything 4. Remember: EverythingFails 5. EmbraceInconsistency Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  8. Vogels at the Helm • Werner Vogels is CTO at Amazon.com… • His first act? He banned reliable multicast*! • Amazon was troubled by platform instability • Vogels decreed: all communication via SOAP/TCP • This was slower… but • Stability matters more than speed * Amazon was (and remains) a heavy pub-sub user Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  9. James Hamilton’s advice • Key to scalability is decoupling, loosest possible synchronization • Any synchronized mechanism is a risk • His approach: create a committee • Anyone who wants to deploy a highly consistent mechanism needs committee approval …. They don’t meet very often Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  10. … embodied into Azure • Applications structured as stateless tasks • Azure decides when and how much to replicate them, can pull the plug as often as it likes • Any consistent state lives in backend servers running SQL server… but application design tools encourage developers to run locally if possible

  11. Consistency Consistency technologies just don’t scale! Sept 11, 2009 P2P 2009 Seattle, Washington Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  12. They all fear consistency! • This is the common thread • All three guys (and Microsoft too) • Really build massive data centers, that work • And are opposed to “consistency mechanisms” Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  13. What’s consistency? A consistent distributed system will often have many components, but users observe behavior indistinguishable from that of a single-component reference system Reference Model Implementation Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  14. Why fear consistency? • They reason this way: • Systems that make guarantees put those guarantees first and struggle to achieve them • For example, any reliability property forces a system to retransmit lost messages, use acks, etc • But modern computers often become unreliable as a symptom of overload… so these consistency mechanisms will make things worse, by increasing the load just when we want to ease off! • So consistency (of any kind) is a “root cause” for meltdowns, oscillations, thrashing

  15. Where does it come from? • Transactions that update replicated data • Atomic broadcast or other forms of reliable multicast protocols • Distributed 2-phase locking mechanisms Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  16. If we rule out such mechanisms… • Our systems become “eventually” consistent but can lag far behind reality • Thus application developers are urged to not assume consistency and to avoid anything that will break if inconsistency occurs

  17. A Consistency Property: Virtual Synchrony A=A+1 A=3 B=7 B = B-A • Synchronous runs: indistinguishable from non-replicated object that saw the same updates (like Paxos) • Virtually synchronous runs are indistinguishable from synchronous runs Non-replicated reference execution Synchronous execution Virtually synchronous execution Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  18. When virtual synchrony ruled… • During the 1990’s, Isis was a big success • French Air Traffic Control System, New York Stock Exchange, US Navy AEGIS are some blue-chip examples that used (or still use!) Isis • But there were hundreds of less high-profile users • However, it was not a huge commercial success • Focus was on server replication and in those days, few companies had big server pools

  19. Under market pressures,Isis faded away… • Leaving a collection of weaker products that, nonetheless, were sometimes highly toxic • For example, publish-subscribe message bus systems that use IPMC are notorious for massive disruption of data centers! • Among systems with strong consistency models, only Paxos is widely used in cloud systems (but its role is strictly for locking)

  20. Dangers of Inconsistency My rent check bounced? That can’t be right! • Inconsistency causes bugs • Clients would never be able to trust servers… a free-for-all • Weak or “best effort” consistency? • Strong security guarantees demand consistency • Would you trust a medical electronic-health records system or a bank that used “weak consistency” for better scalability? Jason Fane Properties 1150.00 Sept 2009 Tommy Tenant Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  21. Challenges • To reintroduce consistency we need • A scalable model • Should this be the Paxos model? The old Isis one? • A high-performance implementation • Can handle massive replication for individual objects • Massive numbers of objects • Won’t melt down under stress • Not prone to oscillatory instabilities or resource exhaustion problems

  22. ReIntroducing Isis2 ReIntroducing Isis2 • I’m reincarnating group communication! • Basic idea: Imagine the distributed system as a world of “live objects” somewhat like files • They float in the network and hold data when idle • Programs “import” them as needed at runtime • The data is replicated but every local copy is accurate • Updates, locking via distributed multicast; reads are purely local; failure detection is automatic & trustworthy

  23. How will Isis2 look? • A library… highly asynchronous… Group g = new Group(“/amazon/something”); g.register(UPDATE, myUpdtHandler); g.cast(UPDATE, “John Smith”, new_salary); public void myUpdtHandler(string empName, double salary) { …. }

  24. Example: Parallel search • Just ask all the members to do “their share” of work: Replies = g.query(LOOKUP, “Name=*Smith”); g.callback(myReplyHndlr, Replies, typeof(double)); public void lookup(string who) { divide work into viewSize() chunks this replica will search chunk # getMyRank(); reply(myAnswer); } public void myReplyHndlr(double[] whatTheyFound) { … }

  25. Example: Parallel search Group g = new Group(“/amazon/something”); g.register(LOOKUP, myLookup); Replies = g.query(LOOKUP, “Name=*Smith”); public void myLookup(string who) { divide work into viewSize() chunks this replica will search chunk # getMyRank(); ….. reply(myAnswer); } • g.callback(myReplyHndlr, Replies, typeof(double)); • public void myReplyHndlr(double[] fnd) { • foreach(double d in fnd) • avg += d; • … • }

  26. Key points • The group is just an object. • User doesn’t experience sockets… marshalling… preprocessors… protocols… • As much as possible, they just provide arguments as if this was a kind of RPC, but no preprocessor • Sometimes they provide a list of types and Isis does a callback • Groups have replicas… handlers… a “current view” in which each member has a “rank”

  27. Virtual synchrony vsPaxos • Can’t we just use Paxos? • In recent work (collaboration with MSR SV) we’ve merged the models. Our model “subsumes” both… • This new model is more flexible: • Paxos is really used only for locking. • Isis can be used for locking, but can also replicate data at very high speeds, with dynamic membership, and support other functionality. • Isis2 will be much faster than Paxos for most group replication purposes (1000x or more) [Building a Dynamic Reliable Service.  Ken Birman, Dahlia Malkhi and Robbert van Renesse.   Available as a 2009 technical report, in submission to SOCC 10 and ACM Computing Surveys...]

  28. Later… Can offer “tools” • Unbreakable TCP connections that terminate in groups • [Burgess ‘10] describes Robert Burgess’ new r-TCP solution • Groups use some form of state machine replication scheme • State transfer and persistence • Locking, other coordination paradigms • 2PC and transactional 1-copy SR • Publish-subscribe with topic or content filtering (or both)

  29. Building it won’t be easy! • Isis2 has a lot in common with an operating system and is internally very complex • Distributed communication layer manages multicast, flow control, reliability, failure sensing • Agreement protocols track group membership, maintain group views, implement virtual synchrony • Infrastructure services build messages, handle callbacks, keep groups healthy

  30. Core of the challenge • To scale really well we need to take full advantage of the hardware: IPMC • But IPMC was the root cause of the oscillation shown on the prior slide

  31. Managed IPMC space • Traditional IPMC systems canoverload the router, melt down • Issue is that routers have a small“space” for active IPMC addresses • In [Vigfusson, et al ‘09] we show how to use optimization to manage the IPMC space • In effect, merges similar groups while respecting limits on the routers and switches Melts down at ~100 groups

  32. Channel Aggregation • Algorithm by Vigfusson, Tock [HotNets 09, LADIS 2008, Submission to Eurosys 10] • Uses a k-means clustering algorithm • Generalized problem is NP complete • But heuristic works well in practice Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  33. Optimization Questions Dr. Multicast • Assign IPMC and unicast addresses s.t.  • % receiver filtering (hard) • Min. network traffic • # IPMC addresses (hard) (1) • Prefers sender load over receiver load • Intuitive control knobs as part of the policy Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  34. MCMD Heuristic Dr. Multicast Topics in `user-interest’ space (1,1,1,1,1,0,1,0,1,0,1,1) (0,1,1,1,1,1,1,0,0,1,1,1) FGIF Beer Group Free Food Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  35. MCMD Heuristic Dr. Multicast Topics in `user-interest’ space 224.1.2.4 224.1.2.5 224.1.2.3 Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  36. MCMD Heuristic Dr. Multicast Topics in `user-interest’ space Sending cost: MAX Filtering cost: Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  37. MCMD Heuristic Dr. Multicast Topics in `user-interest’ space Unicast Sending cost: MAX Filtering cost: Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  38. MCMD Heuristic Dr. Multicast Unicast Topics in `user-interest’ space 224.1.2.4 Unicast 224.1.2.5 224.1.2.3 Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  39. Using the Solution Dr. Multicast multicast Heuristic Procs   L-IPMC Procs    L-IPMC • Processes use “logical” IPMC addresses • Dr. Multicast transparently maps these to true IPMC addresses or 1:1 UDP sends Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  40. Effectiveness? • We looked at various group scenarios • Most of the traffic is carried by <20% of groups • For IBM Websphere,Dr. Multicast achieves18x reduction in physical IPMC addresses • [Dr. Multicast: Rx for Data Center Communication Scalability.  Ymir Vigfusson, Hussam Abu-Libdeh, Mahesh Balakrishnan, Ken Birman, and Yoav Tock.  LADIS 2008.  November 2008. Full paper submitted to Eurosys 10.] Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  41. Hierachical acknowledgements • For small groups, reliable multicast protocols directly ack/nack the sender • For large ones, use QSM technique: tokens circulate within a tree of rings • Acks travel around the rings and aggregate overmembers they visit (efficient token encodes data) • This scales well even with many groups • Isis2 uses this mode for |groups| > 25 members, with each ring containing ~25 nodes • [Quicksilver Scalable Multicast (QSM).  KrzysOstrowski, Ken Birman, and Danny Dolev.   Network Computing and Applications (NCA’08), July 08. Boston.]

  42. Flow Control: AJIL • Needed to prevent bursts of multicast from overrunning receivers • AJIL protocol imposes limits on IPMC rate • AJIL monitors aggregated multicast rate • Uses optimization to apportion bandwidth • If limit exceeded, user perceives a “slower” multicast channel • [Ajil: Distributed Rate-limiting for Multicast Networks.  Hussam Abu-Libdeh, Ymir Vigfusson, Ken Birman, and Mahesh Balakrishnan (Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley).  Cornell University TR.  Dec 08.] Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  43. AJIL in action… • AJIL reacts rapidly to load surges, stays close to targets (and we’re improving it steadily) • Makes it possible to eliminate almost all IPMC message loss within the datacenter! Cornell Dept of Computer Science Colloquium

  44. Summary?

  45. Summary? • Isis2 is coming soon… initially on .NET • Developers will think of distributed groups very much as they think of objects in C#. • A friendly, easy to understand model • And under the surface, theoretically rigorous • Yet fast and secure too • All the complexities of distributed computing are swept into this library… users have a very insulated and easy experience

  46. How can non-C# users access it? • .NET supports ~40 languages, all of which can call Isis2 directly • On Linux, we’ll do a Mono port and then build an outboard server that offers a remoted library interface • C++ and other Linux languages/applications will simply run off this server, unless they are comfortable running under Mono of course

  47. Why did we opt for C# in .NET? • Code extensively leverages • Reflection capabilities of C#, even when called from one of the other .NET languages • Component architecture of .NET means that users will already have the right “mind set” • Powerful prebuilt data types such as HashSets • All of this makes Isis2 simpler and more robust; roughly a 3x improvement compared to older C/C++ version of Isis!

  48. Status report? • Building this system (myself) as a sabbatical project… code is mostly written • Goal is to run this system on 500 to 500,000 node systems, with millions of object groups • Initial byte-code only version will be released under a freeBSD license.