Skyway: Connecting Managed Heaps in Distributed Big Data Systems

International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS)

By: Khan Nguyen, Lu Fang, Christian Navasca, Guoqing Xu, Brian Demsky, Shan Lu


Managed languages such as Java and Scala are prevalently used in development of large-scale distributed systems. Under the managed runtime, when performing data transfer across machines, a task frequently conducted in a Big Data system, the system needs to serialize a sea of objects into a byte sequence before sending them over the network. The remote node receiving the bytes then deserializes them back into objects. This process is both performance-inefficient and labor-intensive: (1) object serialization/deserialization makes heavy use of reflection, an expensive runtime operation and/or (2) serialization/deserialization functions need to be hand-written and are error-prone. This paper presents Skyway, a JVM-based technique that can directly connect managed heaps of different (local or remote) JVM processes. Under Skyway, objects in the source heap can be directly written into a remote heap without changing their formats. Skyway provides performance benefits to any JVM-based system by completely eliminating the need (1) of invoking serialization/deserialization functions, thus saving CPU time, and (2) of requiring developers to hand-write serialization functions.