A large scale analysis of hundreds of in-memory cache clusters at Twitter


Juncheng Yang, Carnegie Mellon University; Yao Yue, Twitter; K. V. Rashmi, Carnegie Mellon University


Modern web services use in-memory caching extensively to increase throughput and reduce latency. There have been several workload analyses of production systems that have fueled research in improving the effectiveness of in-memory caching systems. However, the coverage is still sparse considering the wide spectrum of industrial cache use cases. In this work, we significantly further the understanding of real-world cache workloads by collecting production traces from 153 in-memory cache clusters at Twitter, sifting through over 80 TB of data, and sometimes interpreting the workloads in the context of the business logic behind them. We perform a comprehensive analysis to characterize cache workloads based on traffic pattern, time-to-live (TTL), popularity distribution, and size distribution. A fine-grained view of different workloads uncover the diversity of use cases: many are far more write-heavy or more skewed than previously shown and some display unique temporal patterns. We also observe that TTL is an important and sometimes defining parameter of cache working sets. Our simulations show that ideal replacement strategy in production caches can be surprising, for example, FIFO works the best for a large number of workloads.

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@inproceedings {258935,
author = {Juncheng Yang and Yao Yue and K. V. Rashmi},
title = {A large scale analysis of hundreds of in-memory cache clusters at Twitter},
booktitle = {14th {USENIX} Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation ({OSDI} 20)},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-939133-19-9},
pages = {191--208},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/osdi20/presentation/yang},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = nov,
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