Designing systems for emerging memory technologies




Kwon, Youngjin, Ph. D.

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Emerging memory technologies open new challenges in system software: diversity and large capacity. Non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies will have excellent performance, byte- addressability, and large capacity, blurring the line between traditional volatile DRAM and non-volatile storage. NVM diverges from DRAM in significant ways, like limited write bandwidth. It is likely that future storage market will be diversified, having DRAM, NVM, SSD, and hard disk. Unfortunately, current file systems, built on top of old design ideas, cannot provide an efficient way to take advantage of the different storage media. Strata is a cross-media file system, fundamentally redesigning file systems to leverage different strengths of storage technologies while compensating their weaknesses. Modern applications such as large-scale machine learning and graph analytics want to load huge datasets into memory for fast computation. For these workloads, merely adding more RAM to a machine reaches a point of diminishing returns for performance because their poor spatial locality causes them to suffer high virtual to physical memory translation costs. NVM will make this problem worse because it provides cheaper cost-per-capacity than DRAM. Ingens, a efficient memory management system, addresses the shortcomings in modern operating systems and hypervisors that underlies these excessive address translation overheads and redesign huge page memory systems to make huge page widely used in practice.


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