ATSMF: Automated Tiered Storage with Fast Memory and Slow Flash Storage to Improve Response Time with Concentrated Input-Output (IO) Workloads

Kazuichi OE  Mitsuru SATO  Takeshi NANRI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E101-D   No.12   pp.2889-2901
Publication Date: 2018/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018PAP0005
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Parallel and Distributed Computing and Networking)
Category: Memory Devices
hybrid storage system,  dynamic random-access memory,  non-volatile memory,  flash storage,  workload analysis,  

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The response times of solid state drives (SSDs) have decreased dramatically due to the growing use of non-volatile memory express (NVMe) devices. Such devices have response times of less than 100 micro seconds on average. The response times of all-flash-array systems have also decreased dramatically through the use of NVMe SSDs. However, there are applications, particularly virtual desktop infrastructure and in-memory database systems, that require storage systems with even shorter response times. Their workloads tend to contain many input-output (IO) concentrations, which are aggregations of IO accesses. They target narrow regions of the storage volume and can continue for up to an hour. These narrow regions occupy a few percent of the logical unit number capacity, are the target of most IO accesses, and appear at unpredictable logical block addresses. To drastically reduce the response times for such workloads, we developed an automated tiered storage system called “automated tiered storage with fast memory and slow flash storage” (ATSMF) in which the data in targeted regions are migrated between storage devices depending on the predicted remaining duration of the concentration. The assumed environment is a server with non-volatile memory and directly attached SSDs, with the user applications executed on the server as this reduces the average response time. Our system predicts the effect of migration by using the previously monitored values of the increase in response time during migration and the change in response time after migration. These values are consistent for each type of workload if the system is built using both non-volatile memory and SSDs. In particular, the system predicts the remaining duration of an IO concentration, calculates the expected response-time increase during migration and the expected response-time decrease after migration, and migrates the data in the targeted regions if the sum of response-time decrease after migration exceeds the sum of response-time increase during migration. Experimental results indicate that ATSMF is at least 20% faster than flash storage only and that its memory access ratio is more than 50%.