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The many uses of write off-loading

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In the first part of this talk I will describe the technique of write off-loading as used in Everest. Everest is a system designed to deal with short-term bursts in I/O load on servers in a data center. It allows data written to an overloaded volume to be temporarily off-loaded into a short-term virtual store. Everest creates the short-term store by opportunistically pooling underutilized storage resources either on a server or across servers within the data center. Writes are temporarily off-loaded from overloaded volumes to lightly loaded volumes, thereby reducing the I/O load on the former. The technique is transparent and does not change the block device abstraction seen by applications and the OS.

In the second part of the talk I will describe more generally past, ongoing, and future storage research at MSRC , using write off-loading as a unifying theme. This includes our work on using off-loading to save energy; on SSDs and their place in enterprise storage; and on more general applications of the write off-loading concept.

Bio: Dushyanth Narayanan is a researcher at Microsoft’s European research centre in Cambridge, England. His current research focus is on storage systems.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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