An open supply unified execution engine

  • Meta is introducing Velox, an open supply unified execution engine geared toward accelerating information administration programs and streamlining their growth.
  • Velox is beneath energetic growth. Experimental outcomes from our paper printed on the Worldwide Convention on Very Massive Information Bases (VLDB) 2022 present how Velox improves effectivity and consistency in information administration programs.
  • Velox helps consolidate and unify information administration programs in a fashion we imagine shall be of profit to the business. We’re hoping the bigger open supply group will be part of us in contributing to the mission.

Meta’s infrastructure performs an vital function in supporting our services and products. Our information infrastructure ecosystem consists of dozens of specialised information computation engines, all centered on completely different workloads for a wide range of use instances starting from SQL analytics (batch and interactive) to transactional workloads, stream processing, information ingestion, and extra. Just lately, the fast progress of synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying (ML) use instances inside Meta’s infrastructure has led to further engines and libraries focused at characteristic engineering, information preprocessing, and different workloads for ML coaching and serving pipelines. 

Nonetheless, regardless of the similarities, these engines have largely advanced independently. This fragmentation has made sustaining and enhancing them tough, particularly contemplating that as workloads evolve, the {hardware} that executes these workloads additionally adjustments. Finally, this fragmentation leads to programs with completely different characteristic units and inconsistent semantics — decreasing the productiveness of information customers that have to work together with a number of engines to complete duties.

As a way to handle these challenges and to create a stronger, extra environment friendly information infrastructure for our personal merchandise and the world, Meta has created and open sourced Velox. It’s a novel, state-of-the-art unified execution engine that goals to hurry up information administration programs in addition to streamline their growth. Velox unifies the frequent data-intensive parts of information computation engines whereas nonetheless being extensible and adaptable to completely different computation engines. It democratizes optimizations that have been beforehand carried out solely in particular person engines, offering a framework during which constant semantics might be carried out. This reduces work duplication, promotes reusability, and improves total effectivity and consistency.  

Velox is beneath energetic growth, but it surely’s already in numerous levels of integration with greater than a dozen information programs at Meta, together with Presto, Spark, and PyTorch (the latter by means of a knowledge preprocessing library referred to as TorchArrow), in addition to different inside stream processing platforms, transactional engines, information ingestion programs and infrastructure, ML programs for characteristic engineering, and others. 

Because it was first uploaded to GitHub, the Velox open supply mission has attracted greater than 150 code contributors, together with key collaborators equivalent to Ahana, Intel, and Voltron Information, in addition to numerous educational establishments. By open-sourcing and fostering a group for Velox, we imagine we will speed up the tempo of innovation within the information administration system’s growth business. We hope extra people and corporations will be part of us on this effort. 

An outline of Velox

Whereas information computation engines could appear distinct at first, they’re all composed of the same set of logical parts: a language entrance finish, an intermediate illustration (IR), an optimizer, an execution runtime, and an execution engine. Velox gives the constructing blocks required to implement execution engines, consisting of all data-intensive operations executed inside a single host, equivalent to expression analysis, aggregation, sorting, becoming a member of, and extra — additionally generally known as the information aircraft. Due to this fact, Velox expects an optimized plan as enter and effectively executes it utilizing the sources obtainable within the native host.

Information administration programs like Presto and Spark usually have their very own execution engines and different parts. Velox can operate as a typical execution engine throughout completely different information administration programs. (Diagram by Philip Bell.)

Velox leverages quite a few runtime optimizations, equivalent to filter and conjunct reordering, key normalization for array and hash-based aggregations and joins, dynamic filter pushdown, and adaptive column prefetching. These optimizations present optimum native effectivity given the obtainable information and statistics extracted from incoming batches of information. Velox can also be designed from the bottom as much as effectively assist complicated information sorts on account of their ubiquity in trendy workloads, and therefore extensively depends on dictionary encoding for cardinality-increasing and cardinality-reducing operations equivalent to joins and filtering, whereas nonetheless offering quick paths for primitive information sorts.

The principle parts offered by Velox are:

  • Sort: a generic sort system that enables builders to symbolize scalar, complicated, and nested information sorts, together with structs, maps, arrays, features (lambdas), decimals, tensors, and extra.
  • Vector: an Apache Arrow–appropriate columnar reminiscence format module supporting a number of encodings, equivalent to flat, dictionary, fixed, sequence/RLE, and body of reference, along with a lazy materialization sample and assist for out-of-order outcome buffer inhabitants.
  • Expression Eval: a state-of-the-art vectorized expression analysis engine constructed based mostly on vector-encoded information, leveraging methods equivalent to frequent subexpression elimination, fixed folding, environment friendly null propagation, encoding-aware analysis, dictionary peeling, and memoization.
  • Features: APIs that can be utilized by builders to construct customized features, offering a easy (row by row) and vectorized (batch by batch) interface for scalar features and an API for mixture features. 
    • A operate package deal appropriate with the favored PrestoSQL dialect can also be offered as a part of the library.
  • Operators: implementation of frequent SQL operators equivalent to TableScan, Undertaking, Filter, Aggregation, Change/Merge, OrderBy, TopN, HashJoin, MergeJoin, Unnest, and extra.
  • I/O: a set of APIs that enables Velox to be built-in within the context of different engines and runtimes, equivalent to:
    • Connectors: permits builders to specialize information sources and sinks for TableScan and TableWrite operators.
    • DWIO: an extensible interface offering assist for encoding/decoding standard file codecs equivalent to Parquet, ORC, and DWRF.
    • Storage adapters: a byte-based extensible interface that enables Velox to hook up with storage programs equivalent to Tectonic, S3, HDFS, and extra. 
    • Serializers: a serialization interface concentrating on community communication the place completely different wire protocols might be carried out, supporting PrestoPage and Spark’s UnsafeRow codecs.
  • Useful resource administration: a set of primitives for dealing with computational sources, equivalent to CPU and reminiscence administration, spilling, and reminiscence and SSD caching.

Velox’s predominant integrations and experimental outcomes

Past effectivity positive factors, Velox gives worth by unifying the execution engines throughout completely different information computation engines. The three hottest integrations are Presto, Spark, and TorchArrow/PyTorch.

Presto — Prestissimo 

Velox is being built-in into Presto as a part of the Prestissimo mission, the place Presto Java employees are changed by a C++ course of based mostly on Velox. The mission was initially created by Meta in 2020 and is beneath continued growth in collaboration with Ahana, together with different open supply contributors.

Prestissimo gives a C++ implementation of Presto’s HTTP REST interface, together with worker-to-worker change serialization protocol, coordinator-to-worker orchestration, and standing reporting endpoints, thereby offering a drop-in C++ substitute for Presto employees. The principle question workflow consists of receiving a Presto plan fragment from a Java coordinator, translating it right into a Velox question plan, and handing it off to Velox for execution.

We carried out two completely different experiments to discover the speedup offered by Velox in Presto. Our first experiment used the TPC-H benchmark and measured near an order of magnitude speedup in some CPU-bound queries. We noticed a extra modest speedup (averaging 3-6x) for shuffle-bound queries.

Though the TPC-H dataset is a regular benchmark, it’s not consultant of actual workloads. To discover how Velox may carry out in these eventualities, we created an experiment the place we executed manufacturing site visitors generated by a wide range of interactive analytical instruments discovered at Meta. On this experiment, we noticed a median of 6-7x speedups in information querying, with some outcomes rising speedups by over an order of magnitude. You may study extra in regards to the particulars of the experiments and their leads to our research paper.

Prestissimo outcomes on actual analytic workloads. The histogram above exhibits relative speedup of Prestissimo over Presto Java. The y-axis signifies the variety of queries (in 1000’s [K]). Zero on the x-axis means Presto Java is quicker; 10 signifies that Prestissimo is at the least 10 occasions sooner than Presto Java.

Prestissimo’s codebase is out there on GitHub.  

Spark — Gluten

Velox can also be being built-in into Spark as a part of the Gluten project created by Intel. Gluten permits C++ execution engines (equivalent to Velox) for use inside the Spark surroundings whereas executing Spark SQL queries. Gluten decouples the Spark JVM and execution engine by making a JNI API based mostly on the Apache Arrow information format and Substrait question plans, thus permitting Velox for use inside Spark by merely integrating with Gluten’s JNI API.

Gluten’s codebase is out there on GitHub.  


TorchArrow is a dataframe Python library for information preprocessing in deep studying, and a part of the PyTorch mission. TorchArrow internally interprets the dataframe illustration right into a Velox plan and delegates it to Velox for execution. Along with converging the in any other case fragmented area of ML information preprocessing libraries, this integration permits Meta to consolidate execution-engine code between analytic engines and ML infrastructure. It gives a extra constant expertise for ML finish customers, who’re generally required to work together with completely different computation engines to finish a selected job, by exposing the identical set of features/UDFs and making certain constant conduct throughout engines.

TorchArrow was not too long ago launched in beta mode on GitHub.

The way forward for database system growth

Velox demonstrates that it’s attainable to make information computation programs extra adaptable by consolidating their execution engines right into a single unified library. As we proceed to combine Velox into our personal programs, we’re dedicated to constructing a sustainable open supply group to assist the mission in addition to to hurry up library growth and business adoption. We’re additionally curious about persevering with to blur the boundaries between ML infrastructure and conventional information administration programs by unifying operate packages and semantics between these silos.

Wanting on the future, we imagine Velox’s unified and modular nature has the potential to be helpful to industries that make the most of, and particularly people who develop, information administration programs. It can enable us to companion with {hardware} distributors and proactively adapt our unified software program stack as {hardware} advances. Reusing unified and extremely environment friendly parts may even enable us to innovate sooner as information workloads evolve. We imagine that modularity and reusability are the way forward for database system growth, and we hope that information firms, academia, and particular person database practitioners alike will be part of us on this effort. 

In-depth documentation about Velox and these parts might be discovered on our website and in our analysis paper “Velox: Meta’s unified execution engine.”


We wish to thank all contributors to the Velox mission. A particular thank-you to Sridhar Anumandla, Philip Bell, Biswapesh Chattopadhyay, Naveen Cherukuri, Wei He, Jiju John, Jimmy Lu, Xiaoxuang Meng, Krishna Pai, Laith Sakka, Bikramjeet Vigand, Kevin Wilfong from the Meta group, and to numerous group contributors, together with Frank Hu, Deepak Majeti, Aditi Pandit, and Ying Su.