WLFC: Write Less in Flash-based Cache

by   Chaos Dong, et al.

Flash-based disk caches, for example Bcache and Flashcache, has gained tremendous popularity in industry in the last decade because of its low energy consumption, non-volatile nature and high I/O speed. But these cache systems have a worse write performance than the read performance because of the asymmetric I/O costs and the the internal GC mechanism. In addition to the performance issues, since the NAND flash is a type of EEPROM device, the lifespan is also limited by the Program/Erase (P/E) cycles. So how to improve the performance and the lifespan of flash-based caches in write-intensive scenarios has always been a hot issue. Benefiting from Open-Channel SSDs (OCSSDs), we propose a write-friendly flash-based disk cache system, which is called WLFC (Write Less in the Flash-based Cache). In WLFC, a strictly sequential writing method is used to minimize the write amplification. A new replacement algorithm for the write buffer is designed to minimize the erase count caused by the evicting. And a new data layout strategy is designed to minimize the metadata size persisted in SSDs. As a result, the Over-Provisioned (OP) space is completely removed, the erase count of the flash is greatly reduced, and the metadata size is 1/10 or less than that in BCache. Even with a small amount of metadata, the data consistency after the crash is still guaranteed. Compared with the existing mechanism, WLFC brings a 7 reduction in write latency, a 1.07*-4.5* increment in write throughput, and a 50 performance.


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