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Monday February 18, 2019
Thursday February 28, 2019
Start: 28.02.2019 10:00


Thursday, 28. February 2019, 10:00-11:00 in CAB E 72

Speaker: Alberto Lerner (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Title: The Case for Network-Accelerated Query Processing







The fastest plans in MPP databases are usually those with the least amount of data movement across nodes, as data is not processed while in transit. The network switches that connect MPP nodes are hard-wired to perform packet-forwarding logic only. However, in a recent paradigm shift, network devices are becoming “programmable.” The quotes here are cautionary. Switches are not becoming general purpose computers (just yet). But now the set of tasks they can perform can be encoded in software.

In this talk we explore this programmability to accelerate OLAP queries. We found that we can offload onto the switch some very common and expensive query patterns. Moving data through networking equipment can hence for the first time contribute to query execution. Our preliminary results show that we can improve response times on even the best agreed upon plans by more than 2x using 25 Gbps networks. We also see the promise of linear performance improvement with faster speeds. The use of programmable switches can open new possibilities of architecting rack- and datacenter-sized database systems, with implications across the stack.


Alberto Lerner is a Senior Researcher at the eXascale Infolab at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. His interests include systems that explore closely coupling of hardware and software in order to realize untapped performance and/or functionality. Previously, he spent years in the industry consulting for large, data-hungry verticals such as finance and advertisement. He had also been part of the teams behind a few different database engines: IBM's DB2, working on robustness aspects of the query optimizer, Google's Bigtable, on elasticity aspects, and MongoDB, on general architecture. Alberto received his Ph.D. from ENST - Paris (now ParisTech), having done his thesis research work at INRIA/Rocquencourt and NYU. He's also done post-doctoral work at IBM Research (both at T.J. Watson and Almaden).