Building Cheap and Large CAMs Using BufferHash

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Executive Summary

The authors show how to build cheap and large CAMs, or CLAMs, using flash memory. These CLAMs are targeted at an emerging class of networking applications that require massive indexes running into a hundred GB or more, with items been inserted, updated and looked up at a rapid rate. Examples of such applications include WAN optimizers, data de-duplication, network monitoring, and traffic analyzers. For such applications, using DRAM-based indexes is quite expensive, while on-disk approaches are too slow. In contrast, the flash memory-based CLAMs cost nearly the same as using existing on-disk approaches but offer orders of magnitude better performance.

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