SC is the International Conference for
 High Performnance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis

SCHEDULE: NOV 13-19, 2010

Understanding the Impact of Emerging Non-Volatile Memories on High-Performance, IO-Intensive Computing

SESSION: Storage Technologies

EVENT TYPE: Paper, Best Student Paper (BSP) Finalist, Best Paper (BP) Finalist

TIME: 1:30PM - 2:00PM

SESSION CHAIR: Ethan L. Miller

AUTHOR(S):Adrian M. Caulfield, Joel Coburn, Todor I. Mollov, Arup De, Ameen Akel, Jiahua He, Arun Jagatheesan, Rajesh K. Gupta, Allan Snavely, Steven Swanson


Emerging storage technologies such as flash memories, phase-change memories, and spin-transfer torque memories are poised to close the enormous performance gap between disk-based storage and main memory. We evaluate several approaches to integrating these memories into computer systems by measuring their impact on IO-intensive, database, and memory-intensive applications. We explore several options for connecting solid-state storage to the host system and find that the memories deliver large gains in sequential and random access performance, but that different system organizations lead to different performance trade-offs. The memories provide substantial application-level gains as well, but overheads in the OS, file system, and application can limit performance. As a result, fully exploiting these memories' potential will require substantial changes to application and system software. Finally, paging to fast non-volatile memories is a viable option for some applications, providing an alternative to expensive, power-hungry DRAM for supporting scientific applications with large memory footprints.

Chair/Author Details:

Ethan L. Miller (Chair) - University of California, Santa Cruz

Adrian M. Caulfield - University of California, San Diego

Joel Coburn - University of California, San Diego

Todor I. Mollov - University of California, San Diego

Arup De - University of California, San Diego

Ameen Akel - University of California, San Diego

Jiahua He - San Diego Supercomputer Center

Arun Jagatheesan - San Diego Supercomputer Center

Rajesh K. Gupta - University of California, San Diego

Allan Snavely - San Diego Supercomputer Center

Steven Swanson - University of California, San Diego

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The full paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library and IEEE Computer Society

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