Beating the I/O bottleneck: a case for log-structured virtual disks


March 28, 2022


Mohammad Hossein Hajkazemi, NetApp Inc.; Vojtech Aschenbrenner, EPFL; Mania Abdi, Northeastern University; Emine Ugur Kaynar, Boston University; Amin Mossayebzadeh Boston University; Orran Krieger Boston University Boston; Peter Desnoyers Northeastern University

With the increasing dominance of SSDs for local storage, today’s network mounted virtual disks can no longer offer competitive performance. We propose a Log-Structured Virtual Disk (LSVD) that couples log-structured approaches at both the cache and storage layer to provide a virtual disk on top of S3-like storage. Both cache and backend store are order preserving, enabling LSVD to provide strong consistency guarantees in case of failure. Our prototype demonstrates that the approach preserves all the advantages of virtual disks, while offering dramatic performance improvements over not only commonly used virtual disks, but the same disks combined with inconsistent (i.e. unsafe) local caching. 


The paper can be found at:

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