Designs, Lessons and Advice from Building Large Distributed Systems

Table of Contents

1 Architectural view of the storage hierarchy



  • 带宽收到了网络限制,因此memory和disk的bandwidth是相同的。
  • 内存延迟变化比较大,而disk延迟本身基数就比较大因此变化不明显。

2 Reliability & Availability

  • Things will crash. Deal with it! (就是MTBF有30年,但是如果有上万节点的话,那么每年也会挂掉一台,所以设计fault-tolerant软件是必要的)
    • Assume you could start with super reliable servers (MTBF of 30 years)
    • Build computing system with 10 thousand of those
    • Watch one fail per day
  • Fault-tolerant software is inevitable
  • Typical yearly flakiness metrics
    • 1-5% of your disk drives will die
    • Servers will crash at least twice (2-4% failure rate)

3 Making Applications Robust Against Failures

  • Canary requests
  • Failover to other replicas/datacenters
  • Bad backend detection:(后端故障检测,如果出现问题尽早退出)
    • stop using for live requests until behavior gets better
  • More aggressive load balancing when imbalance is more severe(比较严重的imbalance那么越需要比较激进的balance策略)
  • Make your apps do something reasonable even if not all is right – Better to give users limited functionality than an error page(出现问题的话尽可能地只是限制功能)

4 Add Sufficient Monitoring/Status/Debugging Hooks

  • All our servers:
    • Export HTML-based status pages for easy diagnosis(输出HTML状态页面便于简单地分析)
    • Export a collection of key-value pairs via a standard interface – monitoring systems periodically collect this from running servers(通过标准接口输出kv便于收集数据) #note: 这点和JMX类似,但是JMX过于重量
    • RPC subsystem collects sample of all requests, all error requests, all requests >0.0s, >0.05s, >0.1s, >0.5s, >1s, etc.(RPC收集请求采样并且统计时间分布)
  • Support low-overhead online profiling #note: 这点JMX也完成得非常好
    • cpu profiling
    • memory profiling
    • lock contention profiling
  • If your system is slow or misbehaving, can you figure out why?

5 BigTable: What’s New Since OSDI’06?


  • Lots of work on scaling
  • Service clusters, managed by dedicated team
  • Improved performance isolation(隔离性)
    • fair-share scheduler within each server, better accounting of memory used per user (caches, etc.)(每个server对用户使用资源进行隔离)
    • can partition servers within a cluster for different users or tables(每个table和用户允许使用的服务器不同)
  • Improved protection against corruption
    • many small changes
    • e.g. immediately read results of every compaction, compare with CRC. Catches ~1 corruption/5.4 PB of data compacted
  • Replication
    • Configured on a per-table basis
    • Typically used to replicate data to multiple bigtable clusters in different data centers
    • Eventual consistency model: writes to table in one cluster eventually appear in all configured replicas(最终一致性)
    • Nearly all user-facing production uses of BigTable use replication(延迟已经非常低)
  • Coprocessors
    • Arbitrary code that runs run next to each tablet in table
      • as tablets split and move, coprocessor code automatically splits/moves too
    • High-level call interface for clients
      • Unlike RPC, calls addressed to rows or ranges of rows
      • coprocessor client library resolves to actual locations
      • Calls across multiple rows automatically split into multiple parallelized RPCs
    • Very flexible model for building distributed services
      • automatic scaling, load balancing, request routing for apps
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