ACMES team

Samovar lab

Memory-Mapped IO on Steroids

Reading group: Amponsem Kwabena presented "Memory-Mapped IO on Steroids" (Eurosys'21) at 4A312 the 10/12/2021 at 10h00.


With current technology trends for fast storage devices, the host-level I/O path is emerging as a main bottleneck for modern, data-intensive servers and applications. The need to improve I/O performance requires customizing various aspects of the I/O path, including the page cache and the method to access the storage devices. In this paper, we present Aquila, a library OS that allows applications to reduce I/O overhead by customizing the memory-mapped I/O (mmio) path for files or storage devices. Compared to Linux mmap, Aquila (a) offers full mmio compatibility and protection to minimize application modifications, (b) allows applications to customize the DRAM I/O cache, its policies, and access to storage devices, and (c) significantly reduces I/O overhead. Aquila achieves its mmio compatibility, flexibility, and performance by placing the application in a privileged domain, non-root ring 0. We show the benefits of Aquila in two cases: (a) Using mmio in key-value stores to reduce I/O overhead and (b) utilizing mmio in graph processing applications to extend the memory heap over fast storage devices. Aquila requires 2.58× fewer CPU cycles for cache management in RocksDB, compared to user-space caching and read/write system calls and results in 40% improvement in request throughput. Finally, we use Ligra, a graph processing framework, to show the efficiency of Aquila in extending the memory heap over fast storage devices. In this case, Aquila results in up to 4.14× lower execution time compared to Linux mmap.