In this post I will summarize the figures for BSBM Load and Explore mixes at 100 Mt, 200 Mt, and 1000 Mt. (1 Mt = 1 Megatriple, or one million triples.) The measurements were made on a 72GB 2xXeon 5520 with 4 SSDs. The exact specifications and configurations are in the raw reports to follow.

The load time in the recent Berlin report was measured with the wrong function, and so far as we can tell, without multiple threads. The intermediate cut of Virtuoso they tested also had broken SPARQL/Update (also known as SPARUL) features. We have fixed this since, and give here the right numbers.

In the course of the discussion to follow, we talk about 3 different kinds of Virtuoso:

  • 6 Single is the generally available single server configuration of Virtuoso. Whether this is open source or not does not make a difference.

  • 6 Cluster is the generally available commercial only cluster-capable Virtuoso.

  • 7 Single is the next generation single server Virtuoso, about to be released as a preview.

To understand the numbers, we must explain how these differ from each other in execution:

  • 6 Single has one thread-per-query, and operates on one state of the query at a time.

  • 6 Cluster has one thread-per-query-per-process, and between processes it operates on batches of some tens-of-thousands of simultaneous query states. Within each node, these batches run through the execution pipeline one state at a time. Aggregation is distributed, and the query optimizer is generally smart about shipping colocated functions together.

  • 7 Single has multiple threads-per-query and in all situations operates on batches of 10,000 or more simultaneous query states. This means, for example, that index lookups get large numbers of parameters which then are sorted to get an ascending search pattern which benefits from locality, so the n * log(n) index access for the batch becomes more like linear if the data accessed has any locality. Furthermore, if there are many operands to an operator, these can be split on multiple threads. Also, scans of consecutive rows can be split before the scan on multiple threads, each doing a range of the scan. These features are called vectored execution and query parallelization. These techniques will also be applied to the cluster variant in due time.

The version 6 and 7 variants discussed here use the same physical storage layout with row-wise key compression. Additionally, there exists a column-wise storage option in 7 that can fit 4x the number of quads in the same space. This column store option is not used here because it still has some problems with random order inserts.

We will first consider loading. Below are the load times and rates for 7 at each scale.

7 Single
Scale Rate
(quads per second)
Load time
Checkpoint time
100 Mt 261,366 301 82
200 Mt 216,000 802 123
1000 Mt 130,378 6641 1012

In each case the load was made on 8 concurrent streams, each reading a file from a pool of 80 files for the two smaller scales and 360 files for the larger scale.

We also loaded the smallest data set with 6 Single using the same load script.

6 Single
Scale Rate
(quads per second)
Load time
Checkpoint time
100 Mt 74,713 1192 145

CPU time with 6 Single was 8047 seconds. We compare this to 4453 seconds of CPU for the same load on 7 Single. The CPU% during the run was on either side of 700% for 6 Single and 1300% for 7 Single. Note that high percentages involve core threads, not real cores.

The difference is mostly attributable to vectoring and the introduction of a non-transactional insert. The 6 Single inserts transactionally but makes very frequent commits and writes no log, resulting in de facto non-transactional behavior but still there is a lock and commit cycle. Inserts in RDF load usually exhibit locality on all SPOG. Sorting by value gives ascending insert order and eliminates much of the lookup time for deciding where the next row will go. Contention on page read-write locks is less because the engine stays longer on a page, inserting multiple values in one go, instead of re-acquiring the read-write lock and possible transaction locks for each row.

Furthermore, for single stream loading the non-transactional mode can serve one thread doing the parsing with many threads doing the inserting; hence, in practice the speed is bounded by the parsing speed. In multi-stream load this parallelization also happens but is less significant, as adding threads past the count of core threads is not useful. Writes are all in-place, and no delta-merge mechanism is involved. For transactional inserts, the uncommitted rows are not visible to read-committed readers, which do not block. Repeatable and serializable readers would block before an uncommitted insert.

Now for the run (larger numbers indicate more queries executed, and are therefore better):

6 Single Throughput
(QMpH, query mixes per hour)
Scale Single User 16 User
100 Mt 7641 29433
200 Mt 6017 13335
1000 Mt 1770 2487

7 Single Throughput
(QMpH, query mixes per hour)
Scale Single User 16 User
100 Mt 11742 72278
200 Mt 10225 60951
1000 Mt 6262 24672

The 100 Mt and 200 Mt runs are entirely in memory; the 1000 Mt run is mostly in memory, with about a 1.6 MB/s trickle from SSD in steady state. Accordingly, the 1000 Mt run is longer, with 2000 query mixes in the timed period, preceded by a warm-up of 2000 mixes with a different seed. For the memory-only scales, we run 500 mixes twice, and take the timing of the second run.

Looking at single user speeds, 6 Single and 7 Single are closest at the small end and drift farther apart at the larger scales. This comes from the increased opportunity to parallelize Q5, since this works on more data and is relatively more important as the scale gets larger. The 100 Mt run of 7 Single has about 130% CPU, and the 1000 Mt run has about 270%. This also explains why adding clients gives a larger boost at the smaller scale.

Now let us look at the relative effects of parallelizing and vectoring in 7 Single. We run 50 mixes of Single User Explore: 6132 QMpH with both parallelizing and vectoring on; 2805 QMpH with execution limited to a single thread. Then we set the vector size to 1, meaning that the query pipeline runs one row at a time. This gets us 1319 QMpH which is a bit worse than 6 Single. This is to be expected since there is some overhead to running vectored with single-element vectors. Q5 on 7 Single with vectoring and a single thread runs at 1.9 qps; with single-element vectors, at 0.8 qps. The 6 Single engine runs Q5 at 1.13 qps.

The 100 Mt scale 7 Single gains the most from adding clients; the 1000 Mt 6 Single gains the least. The reason for the latter is covered in detail in A Benchmarking Story. We note that while vectoring is primarily geared to better single-thread speed and better cache hit rates, it delivers a huge multithreaded benefit by eliminating the mutex contention at the index tree top which stops 6 Single dead at 1000 Mt.

In conclusion, we see that even with a workload of short queries and little opportunity for parallelism, we get substantial benefits from query parallelization and vectoring. When moving to more complex workloads, the benefits become more pronounced. For a single user complex query load, we can get 7x speed-up from parallelism (8 core), plus up to 3x from vectoring. These numbers do not take into account the benefits of the column store; those will be analyzed separately a bit later.

The full run details will be supplied at the end of this blog series.

Benchmarks, Redux Series