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The End of a Myth: Distributed Transaction Can Scale

Erfan Zamanian; Carsten Binnig; Tim Kraska; Tim Harris
In: Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment (PVLDB), Vol. 10, No. 6, Pages 685-696, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017.


The common wisdom is that distributed transactions do not scale. But what if distributed transactions could be made scalable using the next generation of networks and a redesign of distributed databases? There would be no need for developers anymore to worry about co-partitioning schemes to achieve decent performance. Application development would become easier as data placement would no longer determine how scalable an application is. Hardware provisioning would be simplified as the system administrator can expect a linear scale-out when adding more machines rather than some complex sub-linear function, which is highly application specific. In this paper, we present the design of our novel scalable database system NAM-DB and show that distributed transactions with the very common Snapshot Isolation guarantee can indeed scale using the next generation of RDMA-enabled network technology without any inherent bottlenecks. Our experiments with the TPC-C benchmark show that our system scales linearly to over 6.5 million new-order (14.5 million total) distributed transactions per second on 56 machines.

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