Persistent Memory Transactions
March 2018

This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of performance trade offs between implementation choices for transaction runtime systems on persistent memory. We compare three implementations of transaction runtimes: undo logging, redo logging, and copy-on-write. We also present a memory allocator that plugs into these runtimes. Our microbenchmark based evaluation focuses on understanding the interplay between various factors that contribute to performance differences between the three runtimes -- read/write access patterns of workloads, size of the persistence domain (portion of the memory hierarchy where the data is effectively persistent), cache locality, and transaction runtime bookkeeping overheads. No single runtime emerges as a clear winner. We confirm our analysis in more realistic settings of three "real world" applications we developed with our transactional API: (i) a key-value store we implemented from scratch, (ii) a SQLite port, and (iii) a persistified version of memcached, a popular key-value store. These findings are not only consistent with our microbenchmark analysis, but also provide additional interesting insights into other factors (e.g. effects of multithreading and synchronization) that affect application performance.

Authors: Virendra Marathe, Achin Mishra, Amee Trivedi, Yihe Huang, Faisal Zaghloul, Sanidhya Kashyap, Margo Seltzer, Tim Harris, Steve Byan, Bill Bridge, Dave Dice

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