Community Blog Storage Policies and Read/Write Optimization in JindoFS

Storage Policies and Read/Write Optimization in JindoFS

This article describes common problems and optimization methods of data read/write in computing-storage separation scenarios, and introduces data cache acceleration with JindoFS.

By Li Zhipeng, object storage development engineer

The E-MapReduce team of the computing platform division has explored and developed the JindoFS framework to accelerate data read/write performance in computing-storage separation scenarios. Mr. Yao Shunyang from Alibaba Cloud Intelligence team presented a detailed introduction to JindoFS storage policies and read/write optimization. Based on his introduction, this article further discusses the following topics:

  • The data cache scenario, as well as the background and motivation for data caching
  • The policy and optimization of data read/write operations
  • Cache data management
  • Best practice

Data Cache Scenario

In traditional analysis scenarios of big data, HDFS is a de facto storage standard. It typically deploys computing resources and storage resources in a set of clusters, namely the computing-storage integration architecture as shown in the following figure. It causes asymmetric extensibility in the computing and storage capabilities of clusters. With the development of data migration to the cloud in recent years, the computing-storage separation architecture gradually emerged in the big data analysis scenario. More and more customers choose this architecture to deploy their clusters. The difference between this architecture and the traditional HDFS-based architecture is that, in the computing-storage separation architecture, computing resources and storage resources are physically isolated. The computing cluster is connected to the backend storage cluster through networks, as shown in the following figure. A large amount of data read/write operations in a computing cluster are performed through various network requests to interact with the storage cluster. In this scenario, the network throughput is usually a performance bottleneck in the job execution process.


Therefore, it is necessary to create a cache layer for the backend storage cluster on the computing side, which is in the computing cluster. Through cache layer's data cache, access traffic from the computing cluster to the storage backend is reduced, which significantly mitigates the bottleneck caused by network throughput.

Cache Acceleration in JindoFS

JindoFS accelerates the data cache of storage end at the computing end in the computing-storage separation scenario. The following figure shows its architecture and its position in the system.


JindoFS is consisted by the following components:

  1. JindoFS SDK client: All the upper-layer computing engines access the JindoFS file system through the JindoFS SDK clients to accelerate the backend storage cache.
  2. Namespace Service: It is used for JindoFS metadata management and Storage Service management.
  3. Storage Service: User data management includes local data and data in OSS.

JindoFS is a cloud-native file system that supports the performance of local storage and the ultra-large capacity of OSS. It also supports the following types of backend storage:

  • Data lake scenario on the cloud that supports an OSS instance as the backend.
  • Remote HDFS acceleration (coming soon)
  • Cross-regional HDFS deployment
  • Online computing clusters accessing offline HDFS clusters in hybrid cloud scenarios

Data Read/Write Policy and Optimization

Write Policy

There are two types of data write policies in JindoFS, as shown in the following figure.


Write Policy 1: During the write process, the client writes data to the cache blocks of the corresponding Storage Service, and the Storage Service uploads the data in cache blocks to the backend storage through multiple threads in parallel.

Write Policy 2: In terms of the pass-through, use the JindoFS SDK pass-through to upload data to the backend storage system. The SDK has made a lot of related performance optimizations. This method applies to the data production environment. It is only responsible for generating data and has no requirement for the subsequent computing process and read operations

Read Policy

The read policy is one of the most important parts of JindoFS. A distributed cache service is built based on the storage capability of JindoFS in the local cluster. Then, the remote data can be saved in the local cluster, and localized. By doing so, multiple data read requests are processed more quickly. This is the fastest way to read data in the cache with optimal read performances. According to this principle, the read policy is elaborated as follows:

  1. First, read the cache data blocks from the local nodes, such as Block1 and Block2 shown in the following figure.
  2. If no local node exists in the cache, the client sends a request to the Namespace Service for cache data block. For example, if the data Block 3 to be read is on Node 2, the client reads Block 3 from Node 2.
  3. If the Node does not exist, the system reads data from the remote OSS cluster and adds the data to the local Storage Service cache to accelerate the next read operation on the data.
  4. Based on the preceding basic policies, JindoFS provides a policy that supports dynamic multiple backups. This policy reads data from other nodes by configuring parameters, then generates backups in the cache. This further accelerates the read access to the high-heat data blocks.


Cache Locality

Similar to the Data Locality of HDFS, Cache Locality is a tool that pushes a task in the computing layer to the node where the data block is located for execution. Based on this policy, tasks first read the data in the local cache, which is the most efficient way to read data.

JindoFS Namespace maintains the location information of all cache data blocks. Therefore, through related APIs provided by the Namespace, the location information of data blocks can be delivered to the computing layer. Then, the computing layer pushes tasks to the node where the cache data block is located. In this way, most data can be read from the local cache and the rest of the data can be read through networks. Through Cache Locality, most data are read locally, ensuring an optimal data reading performance for computing jobs, as shown in the following figure.


Usage of JindoFS

JindoFS is usually used in the following basic usage modes:

  • Block mode: JindoFS manages metadata and OSS stores data blocks in the backend.
  • Cache mode: This mode is transparent and imperceptible to users. It has the following scenarios:

    • Cache is not enabled because the cluster is small.
    • Cache is enabled and it resolves insufficient OSS bandwidth through the local cache block. Cache can be turned on or off through the jfs.cache.data-cache.enable configuration item. Set jfs.cache.data-cache.enable to 0 to turn on cache, and 1 to turn off.


Cache Data Management

As a cache system, JindoFS uses limited local cache resources to cache OSS backend which has almost unlimited space. Therefore, the main features of cache data management are as follows:

  • Cache management of local data blocks
  • Lifecycle maintenance of local data blocks

Storage Service implements the management of data access information. That is, all read/write operations are registered with AccessManager, while storage.watermark.high.ratio and storage.watermark.low.ratio are provided to manage cache data. When the used cache capacity in the local disk reaches the threshold value of storage.watermark.high.ratio, AccessManager automatically triggers the cleanup mechanism. Some cold data in the local disk are deleted till the storage.watermark.low.ratio is triggerd to give more disk space for hot data.

Automatic Cleanup of Cache Data Blocks

Currently, the automatic eviction of cold data blocks is performed based on the Least Recently Used (LRU) eviction policy, while the asynchronous cold data cleaning does not affect read/write operations..

The following figure shows the cleanup process of Cache Data Blocks.


Explicit Designation Cache

JindoFS also provides designation cache, which is coming soon.

Use the cache command to explicitly cache the backend directories or files, and use the uncache command to release cold data.


Best Practice

How to Configure a Cluster

Follow the principles below to configure a cluster

  • More persistent nodes for caching
  • Disks for caching nodes
  • Network bandwidth for caching nodes

Configure the configuration item to set network bandwidth:


Configure the following items for data locality:

  • spark.locality.wait.rack3s -> 0
  • spark.locality.wait.node3s -> 0


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