ThemisMR: An I/O-Efficient MapReduce

Alexander Rasmussen, Michael Conley, Rishi Kapoor, Vinh The Lam, George Porter and Amin Vahdat
July 9, 2012

"Big Data" computing increasingly utilizes the MapReduce programming model for scalable processing of large data collections. Many MapReduce jobs are I/O-bound, and so minimizing the number of I/O operations is critical to improving their performance. In this work, we present ThemisMR, a MapReduce implementation that reads and writes data records to disk exactly twice, which is the minimum amount possible for data sets that cannot fit in memory. In order to minimize I/O, ThemisMR makes fundamentally different design decisions from previous MapReduce implementations. ThemisMR performs a wide variety of MapReduce jobs – including click log analysis, DNA read sequence alignment, and PageRank – at nearly the speed of TritonSort’s record-setting sort performance.

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