This post is dedicated to our brothers in horizontal partitioning (or sharding), Garlik and Bigdata.

At first sight, the BSBM Explore mix appears very cluster-unfriendly, as it contains short queries that access data at random. There is every opportunity for latency and few opportunities for parallelism.

For this reason we had not even run the BSBM mix with Virtuoso Cluster. We were not surprised to learn that Garlik hadn't run BSBM either. We have understood from Systap that their Bigdata BSBM experiments were on a single-process configuration.

But the 4Store results in the recent Berlin report were with a distributed setup, as 4Store always runs a multiprocess configuration, even on a single server, so it seemed interesting to us to compare how Virtuoso Cluster compares with Virtuoso Single with this workload. These tests were run on a different box than the recent BSBM tests, so those 4Store figures are not directly comparable.

The setup here consists of 8 partitions, each managed by its own process, all running on the same box. Any of these processes can have its HTTP and SQL listener and can provide the same service. Most access to data goes over the interconnect, except when the data is co-resident in the process which is coordinating the query. The interconnect is Unix domain sockets since all 8 processes are on the same box.

6 Cluster - Load Rates and Times
Scale Rate
(quads per second)
Load time
Checkpoint time
100 Mt 119,204 749 89
200 Mt 121,607 1486 157
1000 Mt 102,694 8737 979

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

The load times are systematically better than for 6 Single. This is also not bad compared to the 7 Single vectored load rates of 220 Kt/s or so. We note that loading is a cluster friendly operation, going at a steady 1400+% CPU utilization with an aggregate message throughput of 40MB/s. 7 Single is faster because of vectoring at the index level, not because the clusters were hitting communication overheads. 6 Cluster is faster than 6 Single because scale-out in this case diminishes contention, even on a single box.

Throughput is as follows:

6 Cluster - Throughput
(QMpH, query mixes per hour)
Scale Single User 16 User
100 Mt 7318 43120
200 Mt 6222 29981
1000 Mt 2526 11156

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

Below is a snapshot of status during the 6 Cluster 100 Mt run.

Cluster 8 nodes, 15 s.
       25784 m/s  25682 KB/s  1160% cpu  0% read  740% clw  threads 18r 0w 10i  buffers 1133459  12 d  4 w  0 pfs
cl 1:  10851 m/s   3911 KB/s   597% cpu  0% read  668% clw  threads 17r 0w 10i  buffers  143992   4 d  0 w  0 pfs
cl 2:   2194 m/s   7959 KB/s   107% cpu  0% read    9% clw  threads  1r 0w  0i  buffers  143616   3 d  2 w  0 pfs
cl 3:   2186 m/s   7818 KB/s   107% cpu  0% read    9% clw  threads  0r 0w  0i  buffers  140787   0 d  0 w  0 pfs
cl 4:   2174 m/s   2804 KB/s    77% cpu  0% read   10% clw  threads  0r 0w  0i  buffers  140654   0 d  2 w  0 pfs
cl 5:   2127 m/s   1612 KB/s    71% cpu  0% read    9% clw  threads  0r 0w  0i  buffers  140949   1 d  0 w  0 pfs
cl 6:   2060 m/s    544 KB/s    66% cpu  0% read   10% clw  threads  0r 0w  0i  buffers  141295   2 d  0 w  0 pfs
cl 7:   2072 m/s    517 KB/s    65% cpu  0% read   11% clw  threads  0r 0w  0i  buffers  141111   1 d  0 w  0 pfs
cl 8:   2105 m/s    522 KB/s    66% cpu  0% read   10% clw  threads  0r 0w  0i  buffers  141055   1 d  0 w  0 pfs

The main meters for cluster execution are the messages-per-second (m/s), the message volume (KB/s), and the total CPU% of the processes.

We note that CPU utilization is highly uneven and messages are short, about 1K on the average, compared to about 100K during the load. CPU would be evenly divided between the nodes if each got a share of the HTTP requests. We changed the test driver to round-robin requests between multiple end points. The work does then get evenly divided, but the speed is not affected. Also, this does not improve the message sizes since the workload consists mostly of short lookups. However, with the processes spread over multiple servers, the round-robin would be essential for CPU and especially for interconnect throughput.

Then we try 6 Cluster at 1000 Mt. For Single User, we get 1180 m/s, 6955 KB/s, and 173% cpu. For 16 User, this is 6573 m/s, 44366 KB/s, 1470% cpu.

This is a lot better than the figures with 6 Single, due to lower contention on the index tree, as discussed in A Benchmarking Story. Also Single User throughput on 6 Cluster outperforms 6 Single, due to the natural parallelism of doing the Q5 joins in parallel in each partition. The larger the scale, the more weight this has in the metric. We see this also in the average message size, i.e., the KB/s throughput is almost double while the messages/s is a bit under a third.

The small-scale 6 Cluster run is about even with the 6 Single figure. Looking at the details, we see that the qps for Q1 in 6 Cluster is half of that on 6 Single, whereas the qps for Q5 on 6 Cluster is about double that of the 6 Single. This is as one might expect; longer queries are favored, and single row lookups are penalized.

Looking further at the 6 Cluster status we see the cluster wait (clw) to be 740%. For 16 Users, this means that about half of the execution real time is spent waiting for responses from other partitions. A high figure means uneven distribution between partitions; a low figure means even. This is as expected, since many queries are concerned with just one S and its related objects.

We will update this section once 7 Cluster is ready. This will implement vectored execution and column store inside the cluster nodes.

Benchmarks, Redux Series