Conference paper

Enabling efficient OS paging for main-memory OLTP databases

Even though main memory is becoming large enough to fit most OLTP databases, it may not always be the best option. OLTP workloads typically exhibit skewed access patterns where some records are hot (frequently accessed) but many records are cold (infrequently or never accessed). Therefore, it is more economical to store the coldest records on a fast secondary storage device such as a solid-state disk. However, main-memory DBMS have no knowledge of secondary storage, while traditional disk-based databases, designed for workloads where data resides on HDD, introduce too much overhead for the common case where the working set is memory resident. In this paper, we propose a simple and low-overhead technique that enables main-memory databases to e• ciently migrate cold data to secondary storage by relying on the OS's virtual memory paging mechanism. We propose to log accesses at the tuple level, process the access traces o• ine to identify relevant access patterns, and then transparently re-organize the in-memory data structures to reduce paging I/O and improve hit rates. The hot/cold data separation is performed on demand and incrementally through careful memory management, without any change to the underlying data structures. We validate experimentally the data re-organization proposal and show that OS paging can be efficient: a TPC-C database can grow two orders of magnitude larger than the available memory size without a noticeable impact on performance. Copyright © 2013 ACM.


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