I am at the FAST 2011 conference this year presenting RAMCloud as a poster. See Poster at USENIX FAST 2011 for what I came up with. There have been some interesting talks at the conference so far with entire sessions devoted to flash/SSDs and data de-duplication.One of the papers at the conference claimed that 4K was the average size of files on a windows machine – measured over multiple years at Microsoft. Another suggested that flash lifetimes were so poor that writes should be de-duplicated before storage. Yet another flash paper wanted to use value-locality (just another name for dedup? ) to improve performance of writes.
Lingo learned –
Wear Leveling – The process of spreading out writes to different physical locations on a solid-state device to avoid making too many writes to the same physical address on the device. This is required because these SSDs support a limited number of write cycles to any one location before that location becomes unreliable !
Erasure code – An error correction method that uses multiple extra bits after the original message to provide error correction for the message. Parity codes are a special case.
Interesting aside – several attendees were updating their company wikis with FAST 2011 trip reports as the talks were going on ! I was using an emacs buffer mostly.