Publications

Rafiki: a middleware for parameter tuning of NoSQL datastores for dynamic metagenomics workloads

Proceedings of the 18th ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware Conference (Middleware '17)

Published December 11, 2017

Ashraf Mahgoub, Paul Wood, Sachandhan Ganesh, Subrata Mitra, Wolfgang Gerlach, Travis Harrison, Folker Meyer, Ananth Grama, Saurabh Bagchi, Somali Chaterji

High performance computing (HPC) applications, such as metagenomics and other big data systems, need to store and analyze huge volumes of semi-structured data. Such applications often rely on NoSQL-based datastores, and optimizing these databases is a challenging endeavor, with over 50 configuration parameters in Cassandra alone. As the application executes, database workloads can change rapidly from read-heavy to write-heavy ones, and a system tuned with a read-optimized configuration becomes suboptimal when the workload becomes write-heavy. In this paper, we present a method and a system for optimizing NoSQL configurations for Cassandra and ScyllaDB when running HPC and metagenomics workloads. First, we identify the significance of configuration parameters using ANOVA. Next, we apply neural networks using the most significant parameters and their workload-dependent mapping to predict database throughput, as a surrogate model. Then, we optimize the configuration using genetic algorithms on the surrogate to maximize the workload-dependent performance. Using the proposed methodology in our system (Rafiki), we can predict the throughput for unseen workloads and configuration values with an error of 7.5% for Cassandra and 6.9-7.8% for ScyllaDB. Searching the configuration spaces using the trained surrogate models, we achieve performance improvements of 41% for Cassandra and 9% for ScyllaDB over the default configuration with respect to a read-heavy workload, and also significant improvement for mixed workloads. In terms of searching speed, Rafiki, using only 1/10000-th of the searching time of exhaustive search, reaches within 15% and 9.5% of the theoretically best achievable performances for Cassandra and ScyllaDB, respectively---supporting optimizations for highly dynamic workloads.

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