Pilaf is an implementation of a high-performance distributed storage system over Infiniband. With existing Ethernet-based networking, many distributed system designs are impossible. Infiniband includes two key features that make new designs feasible: very low-latency, high-throughput messages, and RDMA reads and writes that do not involve the remote CPU. Pilaf is an in-memory distributed cache leveraging these key features. By comparing Pilaf to Memcached and other popular in-memory caches and key-value stores, we show the importance of considering new system designs to take advantage of networking hardware features rather than simply leveraging the higher throughput of such hardware for existing systems.

Mitchell, Christopher, Yifeng Geng, and Jinyang Li. “Using One-Sided RDMA Reads to Build a Fast, CPU-Efficient Key-Value Store.” 2013 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 13). 2013.