Elevating Commodity Storage with the SALSA Host Translation Layer

To satisfy increasing storage demands in both capacity and performance, industry has turned to multiple storage technologies, including Flash SSDs and SMR disks. These devices employ a translation layer that conceals the idiosyncrasies of their mediums and enables random access. Device translation layers are, however, inherently constrained: resources on the drive are scarce, they cannot be adapted to application requirements, and lack visibility across multiple devices. As a result, performance and durability of many storage devices is severely degraded.
In this paper, we present SALSA: a translation layer that executes on the host and allows unmodified applications to better utilize commodity storage. SALSA supports a wide range of single- and multi-device optimizations and, because is implemented in software, can adapt to specific workloads. We describe SALSA’s design, and demonstrate its significant benefits using microbenchmarks and case studies based on three applications: MySQL, the Swift object store, and a video server.

By: Nikolas Ioannou, Kornilios Kourtis, and Ioannis Koltsidas

Published in: RZ3920 in 2018

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