Fast and Efficient Container Startup at the Edge via Dependency Scheduling


Silvery Fu, UC Berkeley; Radhika Mittal, UIUC; Lei Zhang, Alibaba Group; Sylvia Ratnasamy, UC Berkeley


Container is becoming the canonical way of deploying compute tasks at the edge. Unfortunately, container startup latency and overhead remain high, limiting responsiveness and of edge deployment. This latency comes mostly from fetching container dependencies including system libraries, tools, configuration files, and data files.

To address this, we propose that schedulers in container orchestrators take into account a task's dependencies. Hence, in dependency scheduling, the scheduler tries to place a task at a node that has the maximum number of the task's dependencies stored locally. We implement dependency scheduling within Kubernetes and evaluate it through extensive experiments and measurement-driven simulations. We show that dependency scheduling improves task startup latency by 1.4-2.3x relative to current dependency-agnostic scheduling for typical scenarios. Our implementation of dependency scheduling has been adopted into the mainline Kubernetes codebase.

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@inproceedings {253358,
author = {Silvery Fu and Radhika Mittal and Lei Zhang and Sylvia Ratnasamy},
title = {Fast and Efficient Container Startup at the Edge via Dependency Scheduling},
booktitle = {3rd USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Edge Computing (HotEdge 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jun

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