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  1. Ease of use and transparent access to elastic resources have attracted many applications away from traditional platforms toward serverless functions. Many of these applications, such as machine learning, could benefit significantly from GPU acceleration. Unfortunately, GPUs remain inaccessible from serverless functions in modern production settings. We present DGSF, a platform that transparently enables serverless functions to use GPUs through general purpose APIs such as CUDA. DGSF solves provisioning and utilization challenges with disaggregation, serving the needs of a potentially large number of functions through virtual GPUs backed by a small pool of physical GPUs on dedicated servers. Disaggregation allows themore »provider to decouple GPU provisioning from other resources, and enables significant benefits through consolidation. We describe how DGSF solves GPU disaggregation challenges including supporting API transparency, hiding the latency of communication with remote GPUs, and load-balancing access to heavily shared GPUs. Evaluation of our prototype on six workloads shows that DGSF’s API remoting optimizations can improve the runtime of a function by up to 50% relative to unoptimized DGSF. Such optimizations, which aggressively remove GPU runtime and object management latency from the critical path, can enable functions running over DGSF to have a lower end-to-end time than when running on a GPU natively. By enabling GPU sharing, DGSF can reduce function queueing latency by up to 53%. We use DGSF to augment AWS Lambda with GPU support, showing similar benefits.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Boki is a new serverless runtime that exports a shared log API to serverless functions. Boki shared logs enable stateful serverless applications to manage their state with durability, consistency, and fault tolerance. Boki shared logs achieve high throughput and low latency. The key enabler is the metalog, a novel mechanism that allows Boki to address ordering, consistency and fault tolerance independently. The metalog orders shared log records with high throughput and it provides read consistency while allowing service providers to optimize the write and read path of the shared log in different ways. To demonstrate the value of shared logsmore »for stateful serverless applications, we build Boki support libraries that implement fault-tolerant workflows, durable object storage, and message queues. Our evaluation shows that shared logs can speed up important serverless workloads by up to 4.7x.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 26, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 26, 2022
  4. null (Ed.)
    The microservice architecture is a popular software engineering approach for building flexible, large-scale online services. Serverless functions, or function as a service (FaaS), provide a simple programming model of stateless functions which are a natural substrate for implementing the stateless RPC handlers of microservices, as an alternative to containerized RPC servers. However, current serverless platforms have millisecond-scale runtime overheads, making them unable to meet the strict sub-millisecond latency targets required by existing interactive microservices. We present Nightcore, a serverless function runtime with microsecond-scale overheads that provides container-based isolation between functions. Nightcore’s design carefully considers various factors having microsecond-scale overheads, includingmore »scheduling of function requests, communication primitives, threading models for I/O, and concurrent function executions. Nightcore currently supports serverless functions written in C/C++, Go, Node.js, and Python. Our evaluation shows that when running latency-sensitive interactive microservices, Nightcore achieves 1.36×–2.93× higher throughput and up to 69% reduction in tail latency.« less
  5. GPUs have become ubiquitous in the cloud due to the dramatic performance gains they enable in domains such as machine learning and computer vision. However, offloading GPU computation to the cloud requires placing enormous trust in providers and administrators. Recent proposals for GPU trusted execution environments (TEEs) are promising but fail to address very real side-channel concerns. To illustrate the severity of the problem, we demonstrate a novel attack that enables an attacker to correctly classify images from ImageNet by observing only the timing of GPU kernel execution, rather than the images themselves. Telekine enables applications to use GPU accelerationmore »in the cloud securely, based on a novel GPU stream abstraction that ensures execution and interaction through untrusted components are independent of any secret data. Given a GPU with support for a TEE, Telekine employs a novel variant of API remoting to partition application-level software into components to ensure secret-dependent behaviors occur only on trusted components. Telekine can securely train modern image recognition models on MXNet with 10%–22% performance penalty relative to an insecure baseline with a locally attached GPU. It runs graph algorithms using Galois on one and two GPUs with 18%–41% overhead.« less
  6. The adoption of low latency persistent memory modules (PMMs) upends the long-established model of remote storage for distributed file systems. Instead, by colocating computation with PMM storage, we can provide applications with much higher IO performance, sub-second application failover, and strong consistency. To demonstrate this, we built the Assise distributed file system, based on a persistent, replicated coherence protocol that manages client-local PMM as a linearizable and crash-recoverable cache between applications and slower (and possibly remote) storage. Assise maximizes locality for all file IO by carrying out IO on process-local, socket-local, and client-local PMM whenever possible. Assise minimizes coherence overheadmore »by maintaining consistency at IO operation granularity, rather than at fixed block sizes. We compare Assise to Ceph/BlueStore, NFS, and Octopus on a cluster with Intel Optane DC PMMs and SSDs for common cloud applications and benchmarks, such as LevelDB, Postfix, and FileBench. We find that Assise improves write latency up to 22x, throughput up to 56x, fail-over time up to 103x, and scales up to 6x better than its counterparts, while providing stronger consistency semantics.« less
  7. Current hardware and application storage trends put immense pressure on the operating system's storage subsystem. On the hardware side, the market for storage devices has diversified to a multi-layer storage topology spanning multiple orders of magnitude in cost and performance. Above the file system, applications increasingly need to process small, random IO on vast data sets with low latency, high throughput, and simple crash consistency. File systems designed for a single storage layer cannot support all of these demands together. We present Strata, a cross-media file system that leverages the strengths of one storage media to compensate for weaknesses ofmore »another. In doing so, Strata provides performance, capacity, and a simple, synchronous IO model all at once, while having a simpler design than that of file systems constrained by a single storage device. At its heart, Strata uses a log-structured approach with a novel split of responsibilities among user mode, kernel, and storage layers that separates the concerns of scalable, high-performance persistence from storage layer management. We quantify the performance benefits of Strata using a 3-layer storage hierarchy of emulated NVM, a flash-based SSD, and a high-density HDD. Strata has 20-30% better latency and throughput, across several unmodified applications, compared to file systems purpose-built for each layer, while providing synchronous and unified access to the entire storage hierarchy. Finally, Strata achieves up to 2.8x better throughput than a block-based 2-layer cache provided by Linux's logical volume manager.« less