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Triage: Performance Isolation and Differentiation for Storage Systems

Karlsson, Magnus; Karamanolis, Christos; Zhu, Xiaoyun

HPL-2004-40

Keyword(s): storage systems; performance isolation; performance differentiation; control theory

Abstract: Ensuring performance isolation and differentiation among workloads that share a storage infrastructure is a basic requirement in consolidated data centers. Existing management tools rely on resource provisioning to meet performance goals; they depend on detailed knowledge of the system characteristics and the workloads. Provisioning is inherently slow to react to system and workload dynamics, and in the general case, it is impossible to provision for the worst case. We propose a software-only solution that ensures predictable performance for storage access. It is applicable to a wide range of storage systems and makes no assumptions about workload characteristics. We use an on-line feedback loop with an adaptive controller that throttles storage access requests to ensure that the available system throughput is shared among workloads according to their performance goals and their relative importance. The controller considers the system as a "black box" and adapts automatically to system and workload changes. The controller is distributed to ensure high availability under overload conditions, and it can be used for both block and file access protocols. The evaluation of Triage, our experimental prototype, demonstrates workload isolation and differentiation, in an overloaded cluster file-system where workloads and system components are changing.

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