Cilantro: Performance-Aware Resource Allocation for General Objectives via Online Feedback


Romil Bhardwaj, UC Berkeley; Kirthevasan Kandasamy, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Asim Biswal, Wenshuo Guo, Benjamin Hindman, Joseph Gonzalez, Michael Jordan, and Ion Stoica, UC Berkeley


Traditional systems for allocating finite cluster resources among competing jobs have either aimed at providing fairness, relied on users to specify their resource requirements, or have estimated these requirements via surrogate metrics (e.g. CPU utilization). These approaches do not account for a job’s real world performance (e.g. P95 latency). Existing performance-aware systems use offline profiled data and/or are designed for specific allocation objectives. In this work, we argue that resource allocation systems should directly account for real-world performance and the varied allocation objectives of users. In this pursuit, we build Cilantro.

At the core of Cilantro is an online learning mechanism which forms feedback loops with the jobs to estimate the resource to performance mappings and load shifts. This relieves users from the onerous task of job profiling and collects reliable real-time feedback. This is then used to achieve a variety of user-specified scheduling objectives. Cilantro handles the uncertainty in the learned models by adapting the underlying policy to work with confidence bounds. We demonstrate this in two settings. First, in a multi-tenant 1000 CPU cluster with 20 independent jobs, three of Cilantro’s policies outperform 9 other baselines on three different performance-aware scheduling objectives, improving user utilities by up to 1.2 − 3.7x. Second, in a microservices setting, where 160 CPUs must be distributed between 19 inter-dependent microservices, Cilantro outperforms 3 other baselines, reducing the end-to-end P99 latency to x0.57 the next best baseline.

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@inproceedings {288542,
author = {Romil Bhardwaj and Kirthevasan Kandasamy and Asim Biswal and Wenshuo Guo and Benjamin Hindman and Joseph Gonzalez and Michael Jordan and Ion Stoica},
title = {Cilantro: {Performance-Aware} Resource Allocation for General Objectives via Online Feedback},
booktitle = {17th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-34-2},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {623--643},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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