DATE: Thursday September 26, 2002
TIME: Noon - 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: Hamerschlag Hall, Room D210

Andy Wang

Conquest: Preparing for Life after Disks

Disk provides cheap capacity; RAM provides cheap performance. The recent drop in the price of RAM has made it a viable storage alternative and offers an opportunity to restructure existing systems to exploit this dichotomy. While it remains questionable when RAM will replace disk, RAM capacity is already large enough to deliver nearly all aspects of file system services, with a single exception of storage capacity.

In my talk, I will present Conquest, a disk/persistent-RAM hybrid file system I designed and built at UCLA. Conquest provides a smooth transition of primary storage medium from disk to persistent RAM by combining the strengths of both storage media. The integration of the RAM component into the file system also leads to major architectural changes to low-level disk-tailored mechanisms, critical data paths, file system representation, and disk-related optimizations.

In terms of performance, Conquest realizes most of the benefits of persistent RAM at a fraction of the cost of pure RAM systems. Further, measurements show that Conquest achieves significantly faster performance than leading disk-based file systems under existing caching solutions.

Andy Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at UCLA. He received his M.S. in computer science from UCLA in 1998, and his B.S. from UC Berkeley in 1995. He is currently working on the Conquest memory-based file system at the Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research at UCLA. His research interests include file systems, ad hoc networks, optimistic replication, and distributed simulation.

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