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A performance evaluation of scientific I/O workloads on Flash-based SSDs

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2 Author(s)
Park, S. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA ; Kai Shen

Flash-based solid state disks (SSDs) are an alternative form of storage device that promises to deliver higher performance than the traditional mechanically rotating hard drives. While SSDs have seen utilization in embedded, consumer, and server computer systems, there has been little understanding of its performance effects with scientific I/O workloads. This paper provides a trace driven performance evaluation of scientific I/O workloads on SSDs. We find that SSDs only provide modest performance gains over mechanical hard drives due to the write-intensive nature of many scientific workloads. Other workloads (like read-mostly web servers) would likely see much larger gains. Additionally, we observe that the concurrent I/O (when multiple parallel processes simultaneously access a single storage device) may significantly affect the SSD performance. However, such effects appear to be dependent on specific SSD implementation features and they are hard to predict in a general fashion. These results suggest that abundant cautions are needed when supporting high-performance scientific I/O workloads on Flash-based SSDs.

Published in:

Cluster Computing and Workshops, 2009. CLUSTER '09. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

Aug. 31 2009-Sept. 4 2009