Nebula: Data Intensive Computing over Widely Distributed Voluntary Resources

Date of Submission: 
March 14, 2013
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Centralized cloud infrastructures have become the de-facto platform for data-intensive computing today. However, they suffer from inefficient data mobility due to the centralization of cloud resources, and hence, are highly unsuited for dispersed-data-intensive applications, where the data may be spread at multiple geographical locations. In this paper, we present Nebula: a dispersed cloud infrastructure that uses voluntary edge resources for both computation and data storage. We describe the lightweight Nebula architecture that enables distributed data-intensive computing through a number of optimizations including location-aware data and computation placement, replication, and recovery. We evaluate Nebula's performance on an emulated volunteer platform that spans over 50 PlanetLab nodes distributed across Europe, and show how a common data-intensive computing framework, MapReduce, can be easily deployed and run on Nebula. We show Nebula MapReduce is robust to a wide array of failures and substantially outperforms other wide-area versions based on emulated BOINC.