Splinter: Bare-Metal Extensions for Multi-Tenant Low-Latency Storage
Proceedings of the 13th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI) 2018.
In-memory key-value stores that use kernel-bypass networking serve millions of operations per second per machine with microseconds of latency. They are fast in part because they are simple, but their simple interfaces force applications to move data across the network. This is inefficient for operations that aggregate over large amounts of data, and it causes delays when traversing complex data structures. Ideally, applications could push small functions to storage to avoid round trips and data movement; however, pushing code to these fast systems is challenging. Any extra complexity for interpreting or isolating code cuts into their latency and throughput benefits.
We present Splinter, a low-latency key-value store that clients extend by pushing code to it. Splinter is designed for modern multi-tenant data centers; it allows mutually distrusting tenants to write their own fine-grained extensions and push them to the store at runtime. The core of Splinter's design relies on type- and memory-safe extension code to avoid conventional hardware isolation costs. This still allows for bare-metal execution, avoids data copying across trust boundaries, and makes granular storage functions that perform less than a microsecond of compute practical. Our measurements show that Splinter can process 3.5 million remote extension invocations per second with a median round-trip latency of less than 9 us at densities of more than 1,000 tenants per server. We provide an implementation of Facebook's TAO as an 800 line extension that, when pushed to a Splinter server, improves performance by 400 Kop/s to perform 3.2 Mop/s over online graph data with 30 us remote access times.