Harmonia: Near-Linear Scalability for Replicated Storage with In-Network Conflict Detection

  • Hang Zhu
  • Zhihao Bai
  • Jialin Li
  • Ellis Michael
  • Ion Stoica
  • Xin Jin

Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment | , Vol 13(3): pp. 376-389

Distributed storage employs replication to mask failures and improve availability. However, these systems typically exhibit a hard tradeoff between consistency and performance. Ensuring consistency introduces coordination overhead, and as a result the system throughput does not scale with the number of replicas. We present Harmonia, a replicated storage architecture that exploits the capability of new-generation programmable switches to obviate this tradeoff by providing near-linear scalability without sacrificing consistency. To achieve this goal, Harmonia detects read-write conflicts in the network, which enables any replica to serve reads for objects with no pending writes. Harmonia implements this functionality at line rate, thus imposing no performance overhead. We have implemented a prototype of Harmonia on a cluster of commodity servers connected by a Barefoot Tofino switch, and have integrated it with Redis. We demonstrate the generality of our approach by supporting a variety of replication protocols, including primary-backup, chain replication, Viewstamped Replication, and NOPaxos. Experimental results show that Harmonia improves the throughput of these protocols by up to 10x for a replication factor of 10, providing near-linear scalability up to the limit of our testbed.