Serverless Machine Learning on Modern Hardware Using Apache Spark

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Recently, there has been increased interest in running analytics and machine learning workloads on top of serverless frameworks in the cloud. The serverless execution model provides fine-grained scaling and unburdens users from having to manage servers, but also adds substantial performance overheads due to the fact that all data and intermediate state of compute task is stored on remote shared storage.

In this talk I first provide a detailed performance breakdown from a machine learning workload using Spark on AWS Lambda. I show how the intermediate state of tasks — such as model updates or broadcast messages — is exchanged using remote storage and what the performance overheads are. Later, I illustrate how the same workload performs on-premise using Apache Spark and Apache Crail deployed on a high-performance cluster (100Gbps network, NVMe Flash, etc.). Serverless computing simplifies the deployment of machine learning applications. The talk shows that performance does not need to be sacrified.

Session hashtag: #Res6SAIS

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About Patrick Stuedi

I'm a member of the research staff at IBM research Zurich. My research interests are in distributed systems, networking and operating systems. I graduated with a PhD from ETH Zurich in 2008 and spent two years (2008-2010) as a Postdoc at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley. The general theme of my work is to explore how modern networking and storage hardware can be exploited in distributed systems. Currently I'm working on the Apache Crail, a new Apache project providing fast distributed storage on modern hardware.