Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Management of Data - SIGMOD '18
The requirements for OLTP database systems are becoming ever more demanding. Domains such as finance and computer games increasingly mandate that developers be able to encode complex application logic and control transaction latencies in in-memory databases. At the same time, infrastructure engineers in these domains need to experiment with and deploy OLTP database architectures that ensure application scalability and maximize resource utilization in modern machines. In this paper, we propose a
... relational actor programming model for in-memory databases as a novel, holistic approach towards fulfilling these challenging requirements. Conceptually, relational actors, or reactors for short, are application-defined, isolated logical actors that encapsulate relations and process function calls asynchronously. Reactors ease reasoning about correctness by guaranteeing serializability of application-level function calls. In contrast to classic transactional models, however, reactors allow developers to take advantage of intra-transaction parallelism and state encapsulation in their applications to reduce latency and improve locality. Moreover, reactors enable a new degree of flexibility in database deployment. We present ReactDB, a system design exposing reactors that allows for flexible virtualization of database architecture between the extremes of shared-nothing and shared-everything without changes to application code. Our experiments illustrate latency control, low overhead, and asynchronicity trade-offs with ReactDB in OLTP benchmarks.