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Implications of Non Volatile Memory on Software Architectures

Date and Time
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Computer Science 402
Nisha Talagala, from Fusion-io
Vivek Pai
Flash based non volatile memory is revolutionizing data center architectures, improving application performance by bridging the gap between DRAM and disk. Future non volatile memories promise performance even closer to DRAM. While flash adoption in industry started as disk replacement, the past several years have seen data center architectures change to take advantage of flash as a new memory tier in both servers and storage.

This talk covers the implications of nonvolatile memory on software. We describe the stresses that non volatile memory places on existing application and OS designs, and illustrate optimizations to exploit flash as a new memory tier. Until the introduction of flash, there has been no compelling reason to change the existing operating system storage stack. We will describe the technologies contained in the upcoming Fusion-io Software Developer Kit (ioMemory SDK) that allow applications to leverage the native capabilities of non-volatile memory as both an I/O device and a memory device. The technologies described will include new I/O based APIs and libraries to leverage the ioMemory Virtual Storage Layer, as well as features for extending DRAM into flash for cost and power reduction. Finally, we describe Auto-Commit-Memory, a new persistent memory type that will allow applications to combine the benefits of persistence with programming semantics and performance levels normally associated with DRAM.

Nisha Talagala is Lead Architect at Fusion-io, where she works on innovation in non volatile memory technologies and applications. Nisha has more than 10 years of expertise in software development, distributed systems, storage, I/O solutions, and non-volatile memory. She has worked as technology lead for server flash at Intel - where she led server platform non volatile memory technology development and partnerships. Prior to Intel, Nisha was the CTO of Gear6, where she developed clustered computing caches for high performance I/O environments. Nisha also served at Sun Microsystems, where she developed storage and I/O solutions and worked on file systems. Nisha earned her PhD at UC Berkeley where she did research on clusters and distributed storage. Nisha hold more than 30 patents in distributed systems, networking, storage, performance and non-volatile memory

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