Dynamic Page Placement on Real Persistent Memory Systems

by   Miguel Marques, et al.

As persistent memory (PM) technologies emerge, hybrid memory architectures combining DRAM with PM bring the potential to provide a tiered, byte-addressable main memory of unprecedented capacity. Nearly a decade after the first proposals for these hybrid architectures, the real technology has finally reached commercial availability with Intel Optane(TM) DC Persistent Memory (DCPMM). This raises the challenge of designing systems that realize this potential in practice, namely through effective approaches that dynamically decide at which memory tier should pages be placed. In this paper, we are the first, to our knowledge, to systematically analyze tiered page placement on real DCPMM-based systems. To this end, we start by revisiting the assumptions of state-of-the-art proposals, and confronting them with the idiosyncrasies of today's off-the-shelf DCPMM-equipped architectures. This empirical study reveals that some of the key design choices in the literature rely on important assumptions that are not verified in present-day DRAM-DCPMM memory architectures. Based on the lessons from this study, we design and implement HyPlacer, a tool for tiered page placement in off-the-shelf Linux-based systems equipped with DRAM+DCPMM. In contrast to previous proposals, HyPlacer follows an approach guided by two main practicality principles: 1) it is tailored to the performance idiosyncrasies of off-theshelf DRAM+DCPMM systems; and 2) it can be seamlessly integrated into Linux with minimal kernel-mode components, while ensuring extensibility to other HMAs and other data placement policies. Our experimental evaluation of HyPlacer shows that it outperforms both solutions proposed in past literature and placement options that are currently available in off-the-shelf DCPMM-equipped Linux systems, reaching an improvement of up to 11x when compared to the default memory policy in Linux.


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