Storage

Truly Non-Blocking Writes

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Executive Summary

Writing data within user or operating system memory often encounters the classic read-before-write problem whereby the page written to must first be read from the backing store, effectively blocking the writing process before modifications are made. Unfortunately, the large gap between memory and storage access performance adversely affects workloads that require substantial read-before-write operations when accessing memory. In this paper, the authors present techniques that make writes to memory truly non-blocking. The basic approach involves absorbing writes immediately in temporary buffer pages and asynchronously merging the updates after reading in the on-disk version of the page.

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