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“Increasingly large storage subsystems must be enhanced to protect against errors.”
—Haris Pozidis, IBM scientist
As digital data storage becomes increasingly vast and sensitive — particularly for businesses — new challenges are developing when it comes to ensuring reliable and secure data availability. Storage subsystems must be enhanced to protect against errors that can occur in increasingly large storage systems while sustaining the enormous throughput and low-latency offered by solid-state storage.
Future storage systems must scale to enable Big Data analytics and cognitive applications while still being cost-efficient by storing data according to its value. This requires flexible and easy-to-use, multi-tiered storage systems that incorporate technologies such as flash, hard-disk drives and magnetic tapes. Furthermore, caching technologies and flash memory management in virtualized and distributed storage environments must be advanced.
New storage-class memory technologies such as phase change memory (PCM) must be integrated into existing storage stacks.
Advanced flash management
Our mission is to enable the latest and next generations of NAND flash technologies and new emerging non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies for enterprise storage systems through advanced, flash management schemes.
These schemes can be placed at appropriate locations inside a solid-state storage array, on top of existing consumer grade storage devices, or a combination thereof.
We construct intelligent flash management functions capable of taking advantage of the increasing spread of device characteristics on the page, block, and chip level, uneven wear out of flash blocks and cells, which can be workload-induced or driven by the garbage collection algorithms, thereby achieving optimal wear-leveling.
We focus on techniques that do not impact data path processing of host read and write operations and achieve lowest possible latency characteristics throughout the lifetime of the storage device.
We are further designing and evaluating data reduction schemes such as compression and deduplication to improve overall cost per gigabyte storage capacity and reduce write amplification.
These techniques lead to a significant increase in overall meta-data, for which we are investigating adequate management architectures combining current and next-generation volatile and NVM technologies.
We utilize findings from large-scale characterization of existing non-volatile memory devices combined with different approaches including modeling, simulations, and evaluation on real flash cards and SSDs.