UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Embracing diversity : optimizing distributed storage systems for diverse deployment environments Al-Kiswany, Samer


Distributed storage system middleware acts as a bridge between the upper layer applications, and the lower layer storage resources available in the deployment platform. Storage systems are expected to efficiently support the applications’ workloads while reducing the cost of the storage platform. In this context, two factors increase the complexity of the design of storage systems: First, the applications’ workloads are diverse among number of axes: read/write access patterns, data compressibility, and security requirements to mention only a few. Second, storage system should provide high performance within a certain dollar budget. This dissertation addresses two interrelated issues in this design space. First, can the computational power of the commodity massively multicore devices be exploited to accelerate storage system operations without increasing the platform cost? Second, is it possible to build a storage system that can support a diverse set of applications yet can be optimized for each one of them? This work provides evidence that, for some system designs and workloads, significant performance gains are brought by exploiting massively multicore devices and by optimizing the storage system for a specific application. Further, my work demonstrates that these gains are possible while still supporting the POSIX API and without requiring changes to the application. Finally, while these two issues can be addressed independently, a system that includes solutions to both of them enables significant synergies.

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