Automatic Partitioning of Database Applications

Alvin Cheung, Owen Arden, Samuel Madden, Andrew C. Myers

Proceedings of VLDB 2012


Database-backed applications are nearly ubiquitous in our daily lives. Applications that make many small accesses to the database create two challenges for developers: increased latency and wasted resources from numerous network round trips. A well-known technique to improve transactional database application performance is to convert part of the application into stored procedures that are executed on the database server. Unfortunately, this conversion is often difficult. In this paper we describe Pyxis, a system that takes database-backed applications and automatically partitions their code into two pieces, one of which is executed on the application server and the other on the database server. Pyxis profiles the application and server loads, statically analyzes the code's dependencies, and produces a partitioning that minimizes the number of control transfers as well as the amount of data sent during each transfer. Our experiments using TPC-C and TPC-W show that Pyxis is able to generate partitions with up to 3x reduction in latency and 1.7x improvement in throughput when compared to a traditional non-partitioned implementation and has comparable performance to that of a custom stored procedure implementation.

We are preparing for a release of the Pyxis source code. If you are interested please send us an


[Paper] [Slides] [MIT News Article] [Project Website]