Conference Publication

Taurus: A Holistic Language Runtime System for Coordinating Distributed Managed-Language Applications
April 2016

Many distributed workloads in today’s data centers are written in managed languages such as Java or Ruby. Examples include big data frameworks such as Hadoop, data stores such as Cassandra or applications such as the SOLR search engine. These workloads typically run across many independent language runtime systems on different nodes. This setup represents a source of inefficiency, as these language runtime systems are unaware of each other. For example, they may perform Garbage Collection at times that are locally reasonable but not in a distributed setting. We address these problems by introducing the concept of a Holistic Runtime System that makes runtime-level decisions for the entire distributed application rather than locally. We then present Taurus, a Holistic Runtime System prototype. Taurus is a JVM drop-in replacement, requires almost no configuration and can run unmodified off-the-shelf Java applications. Taurus enforces user-defined coordination policies and provides a DSL for writing these policies. By applying Taurus to Garbage Collection, we demonstrate the potential of such a system and use it to explore coordination strategies for the runtime systems of real-world distributed applications, to improve application performance and address tail-latencies in latency-sensitive workloads.

Authors: Martin Maas, Krste Asanovic, Tim Harris, John Kubiatowicz

Venue: ASPLOS 2016

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