Managing the Performance Impact of Administrative Utilities

Administrative utilities (e.g., filesystem and database backups, garbage collection in the Java Virtual Machines) are an essential part of the operation of production systems. Since production work can be severely degraded by the execution of such utilities, it is desirable to have policies of the form “There should be no more than an x% degradation of production work due to utility execution.” Two challenges arise in providing such policies: (1) providing an effective mechanism for throttling the resource consumption of utilities and (2) continuously translating from policy expressions of “degradation units” into the appropriate settings for the throttling mechanism. We address (1) by using self-imposed sleep, a technique that forces utilities to slow down their processing by a configurable amount. We address (2) by employing an online estimation scheme in combination with a feedback loop. This throttling system is autonomous and adaptive and allows the system to self-manage its utilities to limit their performance impact, with only high-level policy input from the administrator. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these approaches in a prototype system that incorporates these capabilities into IBM’s DB2 Universal Database server.

By: Sujay S. Parekh, Joseph L Hellerstein, Matthew Huras, Sam Lightstone, Kevin Rose, Victor Chang

Published in: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, volume 2867, (no ), pages 130-42 in 2003

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