Low-Overhead Distributed Transaction Coordination

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“Low-Overhead Distributed Transaction Coordination” by James Cowling. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT, June 2012.


This thesis presents Granola, a transaction coordination infrastructure for building reliable distributed storage applications. Granola provides a strong consistency model, while significantly reducing transaction coordination overhead. Granola supports general atomic operations, enabling it to be used as a platform on which to build various storage systems, e.g., databases or object stores.

We introduce specific support for independent transactions, a new type of distributed transaction, that we can serialize with no locking overhead and no aborts due to write conflicts. Granola uses a novel timestamp-based coordination mechanism to serialize distributed transactions, offering lower latency and higher throughput than previous systems that offer strong consistency.

Our experiments show that Granola has low overhead, is scalable and has high throughput. We used Granola to deploy an existing single-node database application, creating a distributed database application with min- imal code modifications. We run the TPC-C benchmark on this platform, and achieve 3× the throughput of existing lock-based approaches....

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {James Cowling},
   title = {Low-Overhead Distributed Transaction Coordination},
   school = {MIT},
   type = {{Ph.D.}},
   month = jun,
   year = {2012}

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