Rex: Replication at the Speed of Multi-core

EuroSys '14: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer Systems |

Published by EuroSys

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Standard state-machine replication involves consensus on a sequence of totally ordered requests through, for example, the Paxos protocol. Such a sequential execution model is becoming outdated on prevalent multi-core servers. Highly concurrent executions on multi-core architectures introduce non-determinism related to thread scheduling and lock contentions, and fundamentally break the assumption in state-machine replication. This tension between concurrency and consistency is not inherent because the total-ordering of requests is merely a simplifying convenience that is unnecessary for consistency. Concurrent executions of the application can be decoupled with a sequence of consensus decisions through consensus on partial-order traces, rather than on totally ordered requests, that capture the non-deterministic decisions in one replica execution and to be replayed with the same decisions on others. The result is a new multi-core friendly replicated state-machine framework that achieves strong consistency while preserving parallelism in multi-thread applications. On 12-core machines with hyper-threading, evaluations on typical applications show that we can scale with the number of cores, achieving up to 16 times the throughput of standard replicated state machines.