Storage

FlashVM: Revisiting the Virtual Memory Hierarchy

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Executive Summary

Flash memory is the largest change to storage in recent history. Most research to date has focused on integrating flash as persistent storage in file systems, with little emphasis on virtual memory paging. However, the VM architecture in most of the commodity operating systems is heavily customized for using disks through software layering, request clustering, and prefetching. The authors revisit the VM hierarchy in light of flash memory and identify mechanisms that inhibit utilizing its full potential. They find that software latencies for a page fault could be as high as the time taken to read a page from flash, and that swap systems are overly tuned towards the characteristics of disks

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