Parallel and Distributed Systems Group

Computer Science Department of Telecom SudParis

Glider: Serverless Ephemeral Stateful Near-Data Computation

Reading group: Martin Guyard presented "Glider: Serverless Ephemeral Stateful Near-Data Computation" (Middleware ’23) at 1A312 the 26/1/2024 at 10h00.


Serverless data analytics generate a large amount of intermediate data during computation stages. However, serverless functions, which are short-lived and lack direct  communication, face significant challenges in managing this data effectively. The traditional approach of using object storage to carry the data proves to be slow and costly, as it involves constant movement of data back and forth. Although specialized ephemeral storage solutions have been developed to address this issue, they fail to tackle the fundamental challenge of minimizing data movements. This work focuses on incorporating near-data computation into an ephemeral storage system to reduce the volume of transferred data in serverless analytics. We present Glider with the aim to enhance communication between serverless compute stages, allowing data to smoothly "glide" through the processing pipeline instead of bouncing between different services. Glider achieves this by leveraging stateful near-data execution of complex data-bound operations and an efficient I/O streaming interface. Under evaluation, it reduces data transfers by up to 99.7%, improves storage utilization by up to 99.8%, and enhances performance by up to 2.7×. In sum, Glider improves serverless data analytics by optimizing data movement, streamlining processing, and avoiding redundant transfers.