Chris Kennelly

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Authored Publications
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    Limoncello: Prefetchers for Scale
    Akanksha Jain
    Carlos Villavieja
    Baris Kasikci
    Parthasarathy Ranganathan
    Proceedings of the 28th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, United States(2024)
    Preview abstract This paper presents Limoncello, a novel software system that dynamically configures data prefetching for high utilization systems. We demonstrate that in resource-constrained environments, such as large data centers, traditional methods of hardware prefetching can increase memory latency and decrease available memory bandwidth. To address this, Limoncello dynamically configures data prefetching, disabling hardware prefetchers when memory bandwidth utilization is high and leveraging targeted software prefetching to reduce cache misses when hardware prefetchers are disabled. Limoncello is software-centric and does not require any modifications to hardware. Our evaluation of the deployment on a real-world hyperscale system reveals that Limoncello unlocks significant performance gains for high-utilization systems: it improves application throughput by 10%, due to a 15% reduction in memory latency, while maintaining minimal change in cache miss rate for targeted library functions. View details
    Characterizing a Memory Allocator at Warehouse Scale
    Zhuangzhuang Zhou
    Nilay Vaish
    Patrick Xia
    Christina Delimitrou
    Parthasarathy Ranganathan
    Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, Volume 3, Association for Computing Machinery, La Jolla, CA, USA(2024), 192–206
    Preview abstract Memory allocation constitutes a substantial component of warehouse-scale computation. Optimizing the memory allocator not only reduces the datacenter tax, but also improves application performance, leading to significant cost savings. We present the first comprehensive characterization study of TCMalloc, a warehouse-scale memory allocator used in our production fleet. Our characterization reveals a profound diversity in the memory allocation patterns, allocated object sizes and lifetimes, for large-scale datacenter workloads, as well as in their performance on heterogeneous hardware platforms. Based on these insights, we redesign TCMalloc for warehouse-scale environments. Specifically, we propose optimizations for each level of its cache hierarchy that include usage-based dynamic sizing of allocator caches, leveraging hardware topology to mitigate inter-core communication overhead, and improving allocation packing algorithms based on statistical data. We evaluate these design choices using benchmarks and fleet-wide A/B experiments in our production fleet, resulting in a 1.4% improvement in throughput and a 3.4% reduction in RAM usage for the entire fleet. At our scale, even a single percent CPU or memory improvement translates to significant savings in server costs. View details
    Carbink: Fault-tolerant Far Memory
    Yang Zhou
    Sihang Liu
    Jiaqi Gao
    James Mickens
    Minlan Yu
    Hank Levy
    Amin Vahdat
    Proceedings of the 16th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, Usenix(2022)
    Preview abstract Memory-intensive applications would benefit from using available memory from other machines (ie, remote memory or far memory). However, there is a missing piece in recent far memory proposals -- cost-efficient fault tolerance for far memory. In this paper, we motivate the strong need for fault tolerance for far memory using machine/task failure statistics from a major internet service provider. Then we describe the design and implementation off a Fault-Tolerant application-integrated Far Memory (i.e., FTFM) framework. We compare several candidate fault tolerance schemes, and discuss their pros and cons. Finally, we test FTFM using several X-internal applications, including graph processing, globally-distributed database, and in-memory database. Our results show that FTFM has little impact on application performance (~x.x%), while achieving xx% performance of running applications purely in local memory. View details
    Adaptive Hugepage Subrelease for Non-moving Memory Allocators in Warehouse-Scale Computers
    Martin Maas
    Khanh Nguyen
    Kathryn S McKinley
    International Symposium on Memory Management (ISMM) 2021 (to appear)
    Preview abstract Modern C++ server workloads rely on 2 MB huge pages to improve memory system performance via higher TLB hit rates. Huge pages have traditionally been supported at the kernel level, but recent work has shown that user-level, huge page-aware memory allocators can achieve higher huge page coverage and thus performance. These memory allocators deal with a trade-off: 1) allocate memory from the operating system (OS) at the granularity of a huge page, achieve high performance, but potentially waste memory due to fragmentation, or 2) limit fragmentation by breaking up huge pages into smaller 4 KB pages and returning them to the OS, but reduce performance due to lower huge page coverage. For example, the state-of-the-art TCMalloc allocator handles this trade-off by releasing memory to the OS at a configurable release rate, breaking up huge pages as necessary. This approach balances performance and fragmentation well for machines running one workload. For multiple applications on the same machine however, the reduction in memory usage is only useful to overall performance if another workload uses this memory. In warehouse-scale computers, when an application releases and then reacquires the same amount or more memory quickly, but no other application uses the memory in the meantime, the release causes poorer huge page coverage without any system-wide benefit. We introduce a metric, realized fragmentation, to capture this effect. We then present an adaptive release policy that dynamically determines when to break up huge pages and return them to the OS to optimize system-wide performance. We built this policy into TCMalloc and deployed it fleet-wide in our data centers, leading to an estimated 1% fleet-wide throughput improvement at negligible memory overhead. View details
    Beyond malloc efficiency to fleet efficiency: a hugepage-aware memory allocator
    Andrew Hamilton Hunter
    Parthasarathy Ranganathan
    15th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 21)(2021) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Memory allocation represents significant compute cost at the warehouse scale and its optimization can yield considerable cost savings. One classical approach is to increase the efficiency of an allocator to minimize the cycles spent in the allocator code. However, memory allocation decisions also impact overall application performance via data placement, offering opportunities to improve fleetwide productivity by completing more units of application work using fewer hardware resources. Here, we focus on hugepage coverage. We present TEMERAIRE, a hugepage-aware enhancement of TCMALLOC to reduce CPU overheads in the application’s code. We discuss the design and implementation of TEMERAIRE including strategies for hugepage-aware memory layouts to maximize hugepage coverage and to minimize fragmentation overheads. We present application studies for 8 applications, improving requests-per-second (RPS) by 7.7% and reducing RAM usage 2.4%. We present the results of a 1% experiment at fleet scale as well as the longitudinal rollout in Google’s warehouse scale computers. This yielded 6% fewer TLB miss stalls, and 26% reduction in memory wasted due to fragmentation. We conclude with a discussion of additional techniques for improving the allocator development process and potential optimization strategies for future memory allocators. View details
    automemcpy: A framework for automatic generation of fundamental memory operations
    Sam Xi
    Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on Memory Management (ISMM '21), June 22, 2021, Virtual, Canada (to appear)
    Preview abstract Memory manipulation primitives (memcpy, memset, memcmp) are used by virtually every application, from high performance computing to user interfaces. They often consume a significant portion of CPU cycles. Because they are so ubiquitous and critical, they are provided by language runtimes and in particular by libc, the C standard library. These implementations are heavily optimized, typically written in hand-tuned assembly for each target architecture. In this article, we propose a principled alternative to hand-tuning these functions: (1) we profile the calls to these functions in their production environment and use this data to drive the important high-level algorithmic decisions, (2) we use a high-level language for the implementation, delegate the job of tuning the generated code to the compiler, and (3) we use constraint programming and automatic benchmarks to select the optimal high-level structure of the functions. We compile our memfunctions implementations using the same compiler toolchain that we use for application code, which allows leveraging the compiler further by allowing whole-program optimization. We have evaluated our approach by applying it to the fleet of one of the largest computing enterprises in the world. This work increased the performance of the fleet by 1%. View details
    A Hardware Accelerator for Protocol Buffers
    Chris Leary
    Jerry Zhao
    Dinesh Parimi
    Borivoje Nikolic
    Krste Asanovic
    Parthasarathy Ranganathan
    Proceedings of the 54th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO-54), Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA(2021), 462–478
    Preview abstract Serialization frameworks are a fundamental component of scale-out systems, but introduce significant compute overheads. However, they are amenable to acceleration with specialized hardware. To understand the trade-offs involved in architecting such an accelerator, we present the first in-depth study of serialization framework usage at scale by profiling Protocol Buffers (“protobuf”) usage across Google’s datacenter fleet. We use this data to build HyperProtoBench, an open-source benchmark representative of key serialization-framework user services at scale. In doing so, we identify key insights that challenge prevailing assumptions about serialization framework usage. We use these insights to develop a novel hardware accelerator for protobufs, implemented in RTL and integrated into a RISC-V SoC. Applications can easily harness the accelerator, as it integrates with a modified version of the open-source protobuf library and is wire-compatible with standard protobufs. We have fully open-sourced our RTL, which, to the best of our knowledge, is the only such implementation currently available to the community. We also present a first-of-its-kind, end-to-end evaluation of our entire RTL-based system running hyperscale-derived benchmarks and microbenchmarks. We boot Linux on the system using FireSim to run these benchmarks and implement the design in a commercial 22nm FinFET process to obtain area and frequency metrics. We demonstrate an average 6.2x to 11.2x performance improvement vs. our baseline RISC-V SoC with BOOM OoO cores and despite the RISC-V SoC’s weaker uncore/supporting components, an average 3.8x improvement vs. a Xeon-based server. View details