Modern hardware is abundantly parallel and increasingly heterogeneous. The numerous processing cores have non-uniform access latencies to the main memory and to the processor caches, which causes variability in the communication costs. Unfortunately, database systems mostly assume that all processing cores are the same and that microarchitecture differences are not significant enough to appear in critical database execution paths.

Islands [1]: In this project we have shown that hardware heterogeneity does appear in the critical path and conventional database architectures achieve suboptimal and even worse, unpredictable performance. Our goal is to explore the impact of varying inter-core communication latencies on database systems executing transactional processing (OLTP) workloads on servers with multiple cores per CPU (multicores) and multiple CPUs per server (multisockets). Since multisocket multicores are going to be mainstream database servers in the future, we are designing high-performance transaction processing database architecture which dynamically adapts to underlying hardware topology.


  1. Porobic, D., Pandis, I., Branco, M., Tözün, P. and Ailamaki, A. (2012) OLTP on Hardware Islands. Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment (PVLDB), 5(11) pp. 1447-1458. [detailed record]