Improving OLTP Scalability Using Speculative Lock Inheritance
Transaction processing workloads provide ample request level concurrency which highly parallel architectures can exploit. However, the resulting heavy utilization of core database services also causes resource contention within the database engine itself and limits scalability. Meanwhile, many database workloads consist of short transactions which access only a few database records each, often with stringent response time requirements. Performance of these short transactions is determined largely by the amount of overhead the database engine imposes for services such as logging, locking, and transaction management. This paper highlights the negative scalability impact of database locking, an effect which is especially severe for short transactions running on highly concurrent multicore hardware. We propose and evaluate Speculative Lock Inheritance, a technique where hot database locks pass directly from transaction to transaction, bypassing the lock manager bottleneck. We implement SLI in the Shore-MT storage manager and show that lock inheritance fundamentally improves scalability by decoupling the number of simultaneous requests for popular locks from the number of threads in the system, eliminating contention within the lock manager even as core counts continue to increase. We achieve this effect with only minor changes to the lock manager and without changes to consistency or other application-visible effects.