Press "Enter" to skip to content

How Meltdown And Spectre Have Affected Spark Performance

Chris Stevens, et al, show how DAtabricks customers have fared in a post-Meltdown+Spectre world:

On AWS, we have observed a small performance degradation up to 5% since January 4th. On i3-series instance types, where we cache data on the local NVMe SSDs (Databricks Cache), we have observed a degradation up to 5%. On r3-series instance types, in which the benchmark jobs read data exclusively from remote storage (S3), we have observed a smaller increase of up to 3%. The greater percentage slowdown for the i3 instance type is explained by the larger number of syscalls performed when reading from the local SSD cache.

The chart below shows before and after January 3rd in AWS for a r3-series (memory optimized) and i3-series (storage optimized) based cluster.  Both tests fixed to the same runtime version and cluster size. The data represents the average of the full benchmark’s runtime per day, for a total of 7 days prior to January 3 (before is in blue) and 7 days after January 3 (after is in red). We exclude January 3rd to prevent partial results.  As mentioned, the i3-series has the Databricks Cache enabled on the local SSDs, resulting in roughly half of the total execution time (faster) compared to the r3-series results.

Overall, they’re seeing a degredation of 2-5%.  Click through for some more information on how they collected their metrics.