Zeus: Locality-aware Distributed Transactions
Reading group: Kwabena Amponsem presented "Zeus: Locality-aware Distributed Transactions" (Eurosys'21) at 4A312 the 4/3/2022 at 10h30.
State-of-the-art distributed in-memory datastores (FaRM, FaSST, DrTM) provide strongly-consistent distributed transactions with high performance and availability. Transactions in those systems are fully general; they can atomically manipulate any set of objects in the store, regardless of their location. To achieve this, these systems use complex distributed transactional protocols. Meanwhile, many workloads have a high degree of locality. For such workloads, distributed transactions are an overkill as most operations only access objects located on the same server -- if sharded appropriately. In this paper, we show that for these workloads, a single-node transactional protocol combined with dynamic object re-sharding and asynchronously pipelined replication can provide the same level of generality with better performance, simpler protocols, and lower developer effort. We present Zeus, an in-memory distributed datastore that provides general transactions by acquiring all objects involved in the transaction to the same server and executing a single-node transaction on them. Zeus is fault-tolerant and strongly-consistent. At the heart of Zeus is a reliable dynamic object sharding protocol that can move 250K objects per second per server, allowing Zeus to process millions of transactions per second and outperform more traditional distributed transactions on a wide range of workloads that exhibit locality.