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  1. Photo service providers are facing critical challenges of dealing with the huge amount of photo storage, typically in a magnitude of billions of photos, while ensuring national-wide or world-wide satisfactory user experiences. Distributed photo caching architecture is widely deployed to meet high performance expectations, where efficient still mysterious caching policies play essential roles. In this work, we present a comprehensive study on internet-scale photo caching algorithms in the case of QQPhoto from Tencent Inc., the largest social network service company in China. We unveil that even advanced cache algorithms can only perform at a similar level as simple baseline algorithms and there still exists a large performance gap between these cache algorithms and the theoretically optimal algorithm due to the complicated access behaviors in such a large multi-tenant environment. We then expound the reasons behind this phenomenon via extensively investigating the characteristics of QQPhoto workloads. Finally, in order to realistically further improve QQPhoto cache efficiency, we propose to incorporate a prefetcher in the cache stack based on the observed immediacy feature that is unique to the QQPhoto workload. The prefetcher proactively prefetches selected photos into cache before are requested for the first time to eliminate compulsory misses and promote hitmore »ratios. Our extensive evaluation results show that with appropriate prefetching we improve the cache hit ratio by up to 7.4%, while reducing the average access latency by 6.9% at a marginal cost of 4.14% backend network traffic compared to the original system that performs no prefetching.« less
  2. Host-managed shingled magnetic recording drives (HMSMR) give a capacity advantage to harness the explosive growth of data. Applications where data is sequentially written and randomly read, such as key-value stores based on Log-Structured Merge Trees (LSM-trees), make the HMSMR an ideal solution due to its capacity, predictable performance, and economical cost. However, building an LSMtree based KV store on HM-SMR drives presents severe challenges in maintaining the performance and space efficiency due to the redundant cleaning processes for applications and storage devices (i.e., compaction and garbage collections). To eliminate the overhead of on-disk garbage collections (GC) and improve compaction efficiency, this paper presents GearDB, a GC-free KV store tailored for HMSMR drives. GearDB proposes three new techniques: a new on-disk data layout, compaction windows, and a novel gear compaction algorithm. We implement and evaluate GearDB with LevelDB on a real HM-SMR drive. Our extensive experiments have shown that GearDB achieves both good performance and space efficiency, i.e., on average 1:71 faster than LevelDB in random write with a space efficiency of 89.9%.
  3. In modern distributed storage systems, space efficiency and system reliability are two major concerns. As a result, contemporary storage systems often employ data deduplication and erasure coding to reduce the storage overhead and provide fault tolerance, respectively. However, little work has been done to explore the relationship between these two techniques. In this paper, we propose Reference-counter Aware Deduplication (RAD), which employs the features of deduplication into erasure coding to improve garbage collection performance when deletion occurs. RAD wisely encodes the data according to the reference counter, which is provided by the deduplication level and thus reduces the encoding overhead when garbage collection is conducted. Further, since the reference counter also represents the reliability levels of the data chunks, we additionally made some effort to explore the trade-offs between storage overhead and reliability level among different erasure codes. The experiment results show that RAD can effectively improve the GC performance by up to 24.8% and the reliability analysis shows that, with certain data features, RAD can provide both better reliability and better storage efficiency compared to the traditional Round- Robin placement.
  4. Data reliability and availability, and serviceability (RAS) of erasure-coded data centers are highly affected by data repair induced by node failures. Compared to the recovery phase of the data repair, which is widely studied and well optimized, the failure identification phase of the data repair is less investigated. Moreover, in a traditional failure identification scheme, all chunks share the same identification time threshold, thus losing opportunities to further improve the RAS. To solve this problem, we propose RAFI, a novel risk-aware failure identification scheme. In RAFI, chunk failures in stripes experiencing different numbers of failed chunks are identified using different time thresholds. For those chunks in a high risk stripe (a stripe with many failed chunks), a shorter identification time is adopted, thus improving the overall data reliability and availability. For those chunks in a low risk stripe (one with only a few failed chunks), a longer identification time is adopted, thus reducing the repair network traffic. Therefore, the RAS can be improved simultaneously. We use both simulations and prototyping implementation to evaluate RAFI. Results collected from extensive simulations demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of RAFI on improving the RAS. We implement a prototype on HDFS to verify the correctnessmore »and evaluate the computational cost of RAFI.« less
  5. MLC NAND flash memory uses the voltages of the memory cells to represent bits. High voltages cause much more damage on the cells than low voltages. The free space that need not store bits is leveraged to reduce the usage of those high voltages and thus extend the lifetime of the MLC memory. However, limited by the conventional data representation rule that represents bits by the voltage of one single cell, the high voltages are still used in a high probability. To fully explore the potential of the free space on reducing the usage of high voltages, we propose a novel data representation aware of damage, named DREAM. DREAM uses the voltage combinations of multiple cells instead of the voltage of one single cell to represent bits. It enables to represent the same bits through flexibly replacing the high voltages in some cells with the low voltages in other cells when free space is available. Hence, high voltages which cause more damage are less used and the lifetime of the MLC memory is extended. Theoretical analysis results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of DREAM.
  6. Key-value (KV) stores play an increasingly critical role in supporting diverse large-scale applications in modern data centers hosting terabytes of KV items which even might reside on a single server due to virtualization purpose. The combination of ever growing volume of KV items and storage/application consolidation is driving a trend of high storage density for KV stores. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) represents a promising technology for increasing disk capacity, but it comes at a cost of poor random write performance and severe I/O amplification. Applications/software working with SMR devices need to be designed and optimized in an SMR-friendly manner. In this work, we present SEALDB, a Log-Structured Merge tree (LSM-tree) based key-value store that is specifically op- timized for and works well with SMR drives via adequately addressing the poor random writes and severe I/O amplification issues. First, for LSM-trees, SEALDB concatenates SSTables of each compaction, and groups them into sets. Taking sets as the basic unit for compactions, SEALDB improves compaction efficiency by mitigating random I/Os. Second, SEALDB creates varying size bands on HM-SMR drives, named dynamic bands. Dynamic bands not only accommodate the storage of sets, but also eliminate the auxiliary write amplification from SMR drives. We demonstratemore »the advantages of SEALDB via extensive experiments in various workloads. Overall, SEALDB delivers impressive performance improvement. Compared with LevelDB, SEALDB is 3.42× faster on random load due to improved compaction efficiency and eliminated auxiliary write amplification on SMR drives.« less
  7. Scientific simulations generate large amounts of floating-point data, which are often not very compressible using the traditional reduction schemes, such as deduplication or lossless compression. The emergence of lossy floating-point compression holds promise to satisfy the data reduction demand from HPC applications; however, lossy compression has not been widely adopted in science production. We believe a fundamental reason is that there is a lack of understanding of the benefits, pitfalls, and performance of lossy compression on scientific data. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive study on state-of- the-art lossy compression, including ZFP, SZ, and ISABELA, using real and representative HPC datasets. Our evaluation reveals the complex interplay between compressor design, data features and compression performance. The impact of reduced accuracy on data analytics is also examined through a case study of fusion blob detection, offering domain scientists with the insights of what to expect from fidelity loss. Furthermore, the trial and error approach to understanding compression performance involves substantial compute and storage overhead. To this end, we propose a sampling based estimation method that extrapolates the reduction ratio from data samples, to guide domain scientists to make more informed data reduction decisions.
  8. NAND flash-based Solid State Devices (SSDs) offer the desirable features of high performance, energy efficiency, and fast growing capacity. Thus, the use of SSDs is increasing in distributed storage systems. A key obstacle in this context is that the natural unbalance in distributed I/O workloads can result in wear imbalance across the SSDs in a distributed setting. This, in turn can have significant impact on the reliability, performance, and lifetime of the storage deployment. Extant load balancers for storage systems do not consider SSD wear imbalance when placing data, as the main design goal of such balancers is to extract higher performance. Consequently, data migration is the only common technique for tackling wear imbalance, where existing data is moved from highly loaded servers to the least loaded ones. In this paper, we explore an innovative holistic approach, Chameleon, that employs data redundancy techniques such as replication and erasure-coding, coupled with endurance-aware write offloading, to mitigate wear level imbalance in distributed SSD-based storage. Chameleon aims to balance the wear among different flash servers while meeting desirable objectives of: extending life of flash servers; improving I/O performance; and avoiding bottlenecks. Evaluation with a 50 node SSD cluster shows that Chameleon reduces themore »wear distribution deviation by 81% while improving the write performance by up to 33%.« less
  9. Die-stacked DRAM (a.k.a., on-chip DRAM) provides much higher bandwidth and lower latency than off-chip DRAM. It is a promising technology to break the “memory wall”. Die-stacked DRAM can be used either as a cache (i.e., DRAM cache) or as a part of memory (PoM). A DRAM cache design would suffer from more page faults than a PoM design as the DRAM cache cannot contribute towards capacity of main memory. At the same time, obtaining high performance requires PoM systems to swap requested data to the die-stacked DRAM. Existing PoM designs fall into two categories - line-based and page-based. The former ensures low off-chip bandwidth utilization but suffers from a low hit ratio of on-chip memory due to limited temporal locality. In contrast, page-based designs achieve a high hit ratio of on-chip memory albeit at the cost of moving large amounts of data between on-chip and off-chip memories, leading to increased off-chip bandwidth utilization and significant system performance degradation. To achieve a similar high hit ratio of on-chip memory as pagebased designs, and eliminate excessive off-chip traffic involved, we propose SELF, a high performance and bandwidth efficient approach. The key idea is to SElectively swap Lines in a requested page thatmore »are likely to be accessed according to page Footprint, instead of blindly swapping an entire page. In doing so, SELF allows incoming requests to be serviced from the on-chip memory as much as possible, while avoiding swapping unused lines to reduce memory bandwidth consumption. We evaluate a memory system which consists of 4GB on-chip DRAM and 12GB offchip DRAM. Compared to a baseline system that has the same total capacity of 16GB off-chip DRAM, SELF improves the performance in terms of instructions per cycle by 26.9%, and reduces the energy consumption per memory access by 47.9% on average. In contrast, state-of-the-art line-based and page-based PoM designs can only improve the performance by 9.5% and 9.9%, respectively, against the same baseline system.« less