Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version

Fall 2012


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfilment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Hong Jiang. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Jian Hu


Flash memory, in the form of Solid State Drive (SSD), is being increasingly employed in mobile and enterprise-level storage systems due to its superior features such as high energy efficiency, high random read performance and small form factor. However, SSD suffers from the erase-before-write and endurance problems, which limit the direct deployment of SSD in enterprise environment. Existing studies either develop SSD-friendly on-board buffer management algorithms, or design sophisticated Flash Translation Layers (FTL) to ease the erase-before-write problem. This dissertation addresses the two issues and consists of two parts.

The first part focuses on the white-box approaches that optimize the internal design of SSD. We design a write buffer management algorithm on top of the log-block FTL, which not only optimizes the write buffer effect by exploiting both the recency and frequency of blocks in the write buffer, but also minimizes the destaging overhead by maximizing the number of valid pages of the destaged block. We further identify that the low garbage collection efficiency problem has a significantly negative impact to the performance of the page-mapped SSD. We design a GC-Aware RAM management algorithm that improves the GC efficiency even if the workloads do not have updating requests by dynamically evaluating the benefits of different destaging policies and adaptively adopting the best one. Moreover, this algorithm minimizes the address translation overhead by exploiting the interplay between the buffer component and the FTL component.

The second part focuses on the black-box approaches that optimize the SSD performance externally. As an increasing number of applications deploy SSD in enterprise environment, understanding the performance characteristics of SSD in enterprise environment is becoming critically important. We identify several performance anomalies of SSDs and their performance and endurance impacts on SSD employed in enterprise environment by evaluating several commercial SSDs. Our study provides insights and suggestions to both system developers and SSD vendors. Further, based on the performance anomalies identified, we design an IO scheduler that takes advantage of the SSD features and evaluate its performance on SSD. The scheduler is shown to improve performance in terms of bandwidth and average response time.