Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Achieving Microsecond-scale Resource Fungibility with Nu

10 Feb
Friday, 02/10/2023 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Lederle Graduate Research Center, Room A311
Systems Lunch

Abstract: Today's cluster schedulers require users to provision a specific set of resources (e.g., gigabytes of RAM, number of cores, etc.) for each application. Unfortunately, it is difficult to rightsize resource reservations for several reasons, including variability in load, performance heterogeneity across machines, competition over shared resources, and imbalances in sharding. As a result, operators must overprovision resources to prevent degraded performance or killed jobs (e.g., running out of memory). Such overprovisioning is a major source of low resource utilization in datacenters today, sacrificing energy efficiency and increasing costs.

In this talk, I will present Nu, a distributed runtime system and programming model that eliminates the need to provision resources on specific machines. Nu uses the latest high-performance networks (100GbE+) to provide fungible access to resources at rack scale, allowing developers to use a group of machines as if they were a single large computer with a unified pool of compute and memory. Nu revisits the classic UNIX process abstraction, dividing program state into fine-grained partitions called proclets. Nu achieves fungibility by migrating these proclets between machines in microseconds--orders of magnitude faster than process or VM migration. Our results show that Nu can use migration to rapidly respond to resource pressure without disrupting application performance.

Bio: Adam Belay is an associate professor at MIT CSAIL, where he builds systems that cut across hardware and software boundaries. Before joining MIT, Adam completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University and spent a year at Google working on datacenter networking. His research focuses on operating systems for datacenters with the goal of making them more efficient, performant, and secure.

The Systems Lunch talk series organized by Emery Berger is back in person! All talks are Fridays at 12:00 pm Eastern in room A311 (LGRC). Systems Lunch is a great opportunity to hear exciting talks by visitors as well as to learn about projects going on in the College. Everyone interested in systems is welcome to attend.