Relational Cloud: A Database Service for the Cloud

Carlo Curino, Evan Jones, Raluca Ada Popa, Nirmesh Malviya, Eugene Wu, Samuel Madden, Hari Balakrishnan, Nickolai Zeldovich
5th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research, Asilomar, CA, January 2011

This paper introduces a new transactional “database-as-a-service” (DBaaS) called Relational Cloud. A DBaaS promises to move much of the operational burden of provisioning, configuration, scaling, performance tuning, backup, privacy, and access control from the database users to the service operator, offering lower overall costs to users. Early DBaaS efforts include Amazon RDS and Microsoft SQL Azure, which are promising in terms of establishing the market need for such a service, but which do not address three important challenges: efficient multi-tenancy, elastic scalability, and database privacy. We argue that these three challenges must be overcome before outsourcing database software and management becomes attractive to many users, and cost-effective for service providers. The key technical features of Relational Cloud include: (1) a workload-aware approach to multi-tenancy that identifies the workloads that can be co-located on a database server, achieving higher consolidation and better performance than existing approaches; (2) the use of a graph-based data partitioning algorithm to achieve near-linear elastic scale-out even for complex transactional workloads; and (3) an adjustable security scheme that enables SQL queries to run over encrypted data, including ordering operations, aggregates, and joins. An underlying theme in the design of the components of Relational Cloud is the notion of workload awareness: by monitoring query patterns and data accesses, the system obtains information useful for various optimization and security functions, reducing the configuration effort for users and operators.

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Bibtex Entry:

   author =       "Carlo Curino and Evan Jones and Raluca Ada Popa and Nirmesh Malviya and Eugene Wu and Samuel Madden and Hari Balakrishnan and Nickolai Zeldovich",
   title =        "{Relational Cloud: A Database Service for the Cloud}",
   booktitle =    {5th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research},
   year =         {2011},
   month =        {January},
   address =      {Asilomar, CA}