Summer 2015 Storage Reading List

By Steve Moyer - 2015-07-17

Summer at Micron’s Storage Software Design Center (SSDC) in Austin, Texas means 90 degrees is a cool day, shade is at a premium, and your best friend is the one with a lake house. That, and there are now only two months left until college football season.

It seems to have become a tradition for many organizations to publish a summer reading list to while away those sunny vacation days. Since we are a storage organization, it is only appropriate that we publish a storage-themed reading list, so I’ve taken the liberty to compile a short one for this post:

Log-structured Memory for DRAM-based Storage.  In this paper, Rumble et al. examine the performance and utilization benefits of managing DRAM using techniques originally developed for managing drive capacity in log-structured file systems. In-memory databases are a fast-growing segment of the storage market, so research into using DRAM more efficiently is timely and relevant.

NV-Tree: Reducing Consistency Cost for NVM-based Single Level Systems.  In this paper, Yang et al. discuss challenges associated with maintaining data structures in storage class memory (SCM) when accessing it like DRAM via load and store instructions. SCM is looming on the horizon, and this is an area of active research that is producing interesting results in programming models and their supporting hardware and software mechanisms.

Erasure Coding in Windows Azure Storage.  In this paper, Huang et al. present a novel erasure coding scheme to deal with failed storage nodes in an Azure cluster that reduces the number of nodes that must be read to reconstruct data versus traditional Reed-Solomon codes. Flash-based arrays are another fast-growing segment of the storage market, one I believe is poised to accelerate with the broad adoption of 3D TLC NAND in the data center, and array software must employ erasure coding schemes beyond legacy RAID to make the most efficient use of large numbers of SSDs.

Data Dependent Sparing to Manage Better-Than-Bad Blocks.  In this paper, Maddah et al. propose a relaxed approach to sparing and retiring worn blocks in NAND flash and other forms of nonvolatile memory that has the potential to significantly reduce the percentage of spare blocks required in an SSD.  Such techniques will continue to drive the already substantial TCO benefits of SSDs relative to HDDs.

The Soul of a New Machine.  Okay, this award-winning book by Tracy Kidder isn’t really storage-themed.  Rather, it is an inspiring and insightful true account of an engineering team striving to build a next-generation computer system that I find myself rereading now and again. For me, the spirit embodied in this book represents where we are in the storage industry today—with flash and future memory technologies poised to revolutionize storage software and systems, operating system design, and data centers as a whole.

So what storage-themed reading are you doing this summer?  Connect with us on Twitter @MicronStorage and let us know.  I look forward to hearing what’s on your list.

Steve Moyer

Steve Moyer

Steve Moyer is Vice President of Storage Software Engineering for Micron Technology. He is responsible for leading Micron’s strategy to design, develop, and deploy storage software solutions addressing the needs of virtualization, big data, database management, and cloud-based IT.

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