Taming Tail Latency for Erasure-coded, Distributed Storage Systems

Vaneet Aggarwal, Abubakr O. Al-Abbasi, Jingxian Fan, Tian Lan

Distributed storage systems are known to be susceptible to long tails in response time. In modern online storage systems such as Bing, Facebook, and Amazon, the long tails of the service latency are of particular concern. with 99.9th percentile response times being orders of magnitude worse than the mean. As erasure codes emerge as a popular technique to achieve high data reliability in distributed storage while attaining space efficiency, taming tail latency still remains an open problem due to the lack of mathematical models for analyzing such systems. To this end, we propose a framework for quantifying and optimizing tail latency in erasure-coded storage systems. In particular, we derive upper bounds on tail latency in closed form for arbitrary service time distribution and heterogeneous files. Based on the model, we formulate an optimization problem to jointly minimize the weighted latency tail probability of all files over the placement of files on the servers, and the choice of servers to access the requested files. The non-convex problem is solved using an efficient, alternating optimization algorithm. Numerical results show significant reduction of tail latency for erasure-coded storage systems with a realistic workload.

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