SOSP 2013
Conference paper

Phase change memory in enterprise storage systems: Silver bullet or snake oil?

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Storage devices based on Phase Change Memory (PCM) devices are beginning to generate considerable attention in both industry and academic communities. But whether the technology in its current state will be a commercially and technically viable alternative to entrenched technologies such as flash-based SSDs still remains unanswered. To address this it is important to consider PCM SSD devices not just from a device standpoint, but also from a holistic perspective. This paper presents the results of our performance measurement study of a recent all-PCM SSD prototype. The average latency for 4 KB random read is 6.7 μs, which is about 16x faster than a comparable eMLC flash SSD. The distribution of I/O response times is also much narrower than the flash SSD for both reads and writes. Based on real-world workload traces, we model a hypothetical storage device which consists of flash, HDD, and PCM to identify the combinations of device types that offer the best performance within cost constraints. Our results show that - even at current price points - PCM storage devices show promise as a new component in multi-tiered enterprise storage systems. © 2013 ACM.


03 Nov 2013


SOSP 2013