Colloquium - David Lomet

Monday, February 4, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
HFH 1132
Cost/Performance in Modern Data Stores. How Data Caching Systems Succeed
David Lomet
Amr El Abbadi


Host: Amr El Abbadi

Title: Cost/Performance in Modern Data Stores. How Data Caching Systems Succeed


Data in traditional ``caching'' data systems resides on secondary storage, and is read into main memory only when operated on. This limits system performance. Main memory data stores with data always in main memory are much faster. But this performance comes at a cost. In this paper, we analyze the costs of both in-memory operations and secondary storage operations where data is not ``in cache''. We study the performance impact of cache misses on caching system performance. The analysis considers both execution and storage costs. Based on our analysis, we derive cost/performance results for a data caching system [Deuteronomy and its Bw-tree] and a main memory system [MassTree] to understand where each demonstrates the best cost per operation, what is driving the cost differences, and the scale of the differences. This analysis (1) provides insight into why data caching systems continue to dominate the market; (2) points to higher performance that does not rely on simply increasing main memory cache size; and (3) suggests a path to lower costs and hence better cost/performance.


David Lomet founded the Database Group at Microsoft Research Redmond in 1995 and managed it for 20 years. His research career began at IBM where, while on a 1975-76 sabbatical at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne, he invented atomic actions (a form of transactions). He later worked at Wang Institute as a faculty member, and at Digital Equipment Corporation as a software architect and research staff member. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lomet's primary focus has been the engineering of database systems, with a focus on database system kernels. His work on concurrency control and recovery contributed to making DEC's Rdb and Microsoft's SQL Server database management systems leaders in cost/performance. His Deuteronomy research project's latch-free Bw-tree index and log structure store are key elements in Microsoft's Hekaton main memory database and Azure Cosmos DB cloud data service. Deuteronomy won the Microsoft Research Redmond “2017 Best Research Project” Award. Lomet is an author of over 120 papers and over 60 patents.

Lomet has won IEEE awards as well as the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award for his 25 year tenure as EIC of the IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin. HE has also served as editor of ACM TODS, VLDB Journal and others, and has been a member of the VLDB Board. He has been a PC co-chair for ICDE and VLDB. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors and society Secretary, and has been First Vice President and Treasurer. He is a fellow of IEEE, ACM, and AAAS, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Everyone welcome!