SOSP 2023
Conference paper

RackBlox: A Software-Defined Rack-Scale Storage System with Network-Storage Co-Design

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Software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined flash (SDF) have been serving as the backbone of modern data centers. They are managed separately to handle I/O requests. At first glance, this is a reasonable design by following the rack-scale hierarchical design principles. However, it suffers from suboptimal end-to-end performance, due to the lack of coordination between SDN and SDF.In this paper, we co-design the SDN and SDF stack by redefining the functions of their control plane and data plane, and splitting up them within a new architecture named RackBlox. RackBlox decouples the storage management functions of flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs), and allow the SDN to track and manage the states of SSDs in a rack. Therefore, we can enable the state sharing between SDN and SDF, and facilitate global storage resource management. RackBlox has three major components: (1) coordinated I/O scheduling, in which it dynamically adjusts the I/O scheduling in the storage stack with the measured and predicted network latency, such that it can coordinate the effort of I/O scheduling across the network and storage stack for achieving predictable end-to-end performance; (2) coordinated garbage collection (GC), in which it will coordinate the GC activities across the SSDs in a rack to minimize their impact on incoming I/O requests; (3) rack-scale wear leveling, in which it enables global wear leveling among SSDs in a rack by periodically swapping data, for achieving improved device lifetime for the entire rack. We implement RackBlox using programmable SSDs and switch. Our experiments demonstrate that RackBlox can reduce the tail latency of I/O requests by up to 5.8× over state-of-the-art rack-scale storage systems.