Straggler root-cause and impact analysis for massive-scale virtualized cloud datacenters

Increased complexity and scale of virtualized distributed systems has resulted in the manifestation of emergent phenomena substantially affecting overall system performance. This phenomena is known as “Long Tail”, whereby a small proportion of task stragglers significantly impede job completion time. While work focuses on straggler detection and mitigation, there is limited work that empirically studies straggler root-cause and quantifies its impact upon system operation. Such analysis is critical to ascertain in-depth knowledge of straggler occurrence for focusing developmental and research efforts towards solving the Long Tail challenge. This paper provides an empirical analysis of straggler root-cause within virtualized Cloud datacenters; we analyze two large-scale production systems to quantify the frequency and impact stragglers impose, and propose a method for conducting root-cause analysis. Results demonstrate approximately 5% of task stragglers impact 50% of total jobs for batch processes, and 53% of stragglers occur due to high server resource utilization. We leverage these findings to propose a method for extreme straggler detection through a combination of offline execution patterns modeling and online analytic agents to monitor tasks at runtime. Experiments show the approach is capable of detecting stragglers less than 11% into their execution lifecycle with 95% accuracy for short duration jobs.

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