Shore-MT: A Scalable Storage Manager for the Multicore Era

Tuesday March 31, 2009
Hamerschlag Hall D-210
4:00 pm

Ippokratis Pandis
Carnegie Mellon University


Database storage managers have long been able to efficiently handle multiple concurrent requests. Until recently, however, a computer contained only a few single-core CPUs, and therefore only a few transactions could simultaneously access the storage manager's internal structures. This allowed storage managers to use non-scalable approaches without any penalty. With the arrival of multicore chips, however, this situation is rapidly changing. More and more threads can run in parallel, stressing the internal scalability of the storage manager. Systems optimized for high performance at a limited number of cores are not assured similarly high performance at a higher core count, because unanticipated scalability obstacles arise.

We benchmark four popular open-source storage managers (Shore, BerkeleyDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL) on a modern multicore machine, and find that they all suffer in terms of scalability. We briefly examine the bottlenecks in the various storage engines. We then present Shore-MT, a multithreaded and highly scalable version of Shore which we developed by identifying and successively removing internal bottlenecks. When compared to other DBMS, Shore-MT exhibits superior scalability and 2-4 times higher absolute throughput than its peers. We also show that designers should favor scalability to single-thread performance, and highlight important principles for writing scalable storage engines, illustrated with real examples from the development of Shore-MT.


Ippokratis Pandis is a Ph.D. student of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Prof. Ailamaki. He is a member of the Staged database systems project and his research focuses on high-performing database computing on emerging computer architectures.

Back to the seminar page