CLOUD 2014
Conference paper

UniCache: Hypervisor managed data storage in RAM and flash

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Application and OS-level caches are crucial for hiding I/O latency and improving application performance. However, caches are designed to greedily consume memory, which can cause memory-hogging problems in a virtualized data centers since the hypervisor cannot tell for what a virtual machine uses its memory. A group of virtual machines may contain a wide range of caches: database query pools, memcached key-value stores, disk caches, etc., each of which would like as much memory as possible. The relative importance of these caches can vary significantly, yet system administrators currently have no easy way to dynamically manage the resources assigned to a range of virtual machine data caches in a unified way. To improve this situation, we have developed UniCache, a system that provides a hypervisor managed volatile data store that can cache data either in hypervisor controlled main memory (hot data) or on Flash based storage (cold data). We propose a two-level cache management system that uses a combination of recency information, object size, and a prediction of the cost to recover an object to guide its eviction algorithm. We have built a prototype of UniCache using Xen, and have evaluated its effectiveness in a shared environment where multiple virtual machines compete for storage resources.


03 Dec 2014


CLOUD 2014