Evaluating and Repairing Write Performance on Flash Devices
In the last few years NAND flash storage has become more and more popular as price per GB and capacity both improve at exponential rates. Flash memory offers significant benefits compared to magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs) and DBMSs are highly likely to use flash as a general storage backend, either alone or in heterogeneous storage solutions with HDDs. Flash devices, however, respond quite differently than HDDs for common access patterns, and recent research shows a strong asymmetry between read and write performance. Moreover, flash storage devices behave unpredictably, showing a high dependence on previous I/O history and usage patterns. In this paper we investigate how a DBMS can overcome these issues to take full advantage of flash memory as persistent storage. We propose new a flash aware data layout - append and pack - which stabilizes device performance by eliminating random writes. We assess the impact of append and pack on OLTP workload performance using both an analytical model and micro-benchmarks, and our results suggest that significant improvements can be achieved for real workloads.