Jim waldo

Sun microsystems

Horizontal Scale in Low-Latency Environments


On-line games and virtual worlds present some unique scaling problems. While these applications have been aggressive users of improved chip performance, current trends to multi-core requires programming techniques that are unfamiliar to those in this industry. While successful games have some of the largest on-line communities in the world, techniques currently used to spread a game or virtual world over multiple servers are inflexible and often require changes to source code to increase or decrease capacity. Finally, games and world require very low latency infrastructures to maintain the interactive nature of the applications.


Project Darkstar is an infrastructure designed for such environments. The infrastructure presents a simple, event-based programming model, and automatically spreads the load generated over all available cores on all available machines without the programmer needing to be aware that their application is running on multiple cores or multiple machines. To obtain the low latencies required, we are attempting to join together a set of novel techniques in the system. We rely in the ability to transparently move tasks generated by events from core to core and machine to machine. We have developed a data cache that  is transactional, but trades off durability for low-latency while maintaining consistency. And we are using techniques taken from social network analysis to group players in a way that we believe will be more likely to co-locate interacting players, thus minimizing misses in the data cache.


This talk will describe the problem, the architecture, and the approaches we are taking. While this is work in progress, some preliminary results will be shown that indicate that the approach shows promise.


B17 Upson Hall

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Refreshments at 3:45pm in the Upson 4th Floor Atrium


Computer Science


Fall 2009