Persistent key-value stores are widely used as building blocks in today’s IT infrastructure for managing and storing large amounts of data. However, studies of characterizing real-world workloads for key-value stores are limited due to the lack of tracing/analyzing tools and the difficulty of collecting traces in operational environments. In this paper, we first present a detailed characterization of workloads from three typical RocksDB production use cases at Facebook: UDB (a MySQL storage layer for social graph data), ZippyDB (a distributed key-value store), and UP2X (a distributed key-value store for AI/ML services). These characterizations reveal several interesting findings: first, that the distribution of key and value sizes are highly related to the use cases/applications; second, that the accesses to key-value pairs have a good locality and follow certain special patterns; and third, that the collected performance metrics show a strong diurnal pattern in the UDB, but not the other two.
We further discover that although the widely used key-value benchmark YCSB provides various workload configurations and key-value pair access distribution models, the YCSB-triggered workloads for underlying storage systems are still not close enough to the workloads we collected due to ignorance of key-space localities. To address this issue, we propose a key-range based modeling and develop a benchmark that can better emulate the workloads of real-world key-value stores. This benchmark can synthetically generate more precise key-value queries that represent the reads and writes of key-value stores to the underlying storage system.