Client-side flash caching for cloud systems

Dulcardo Arteaga, Ming Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

39 Scopus citations


As the size of cloud systems and the number of hosted VMs rapidly grow, the scalability of shared VM storage systems becomes a serious issue. Client-side flash-based caching has the potential to improve the performance of cloud VM storage by employing flash storage available on the client-side of the storage system to exploit the locality inherent in VM IOs. However, because of the limited capacity and durability of flash storage, it is important to determine the proper size and configuration of the flash caches used in cloud systems. This paper provides answers to the key design questions of cloud flash caching based on dm-cache, a block-level caching solution customized for cloud environments, and a large amount of long-term traces collected from real-world public and private clouds. The study first validates that cloud workloads have good cacheability and dm-cache-based flash caching incurs low overhead with respect to commodity flash devices. It further reveals that write-back caching substantially outperforms write-through caching in typical cloud environments due to the reduction of server IO load. It also shows that there is a tradeoff on making a flash cache persistent across client restarts which saves hours of cache warm-up time but incurs considerable overhead from committing every metadata update persistently. Finally, to reduce the data loss risk from using write-back caching, the paper proposes a new cache-optimized RAID technique, which minimizes the RAID overhead by introducing redundancy of cache dirty data only, and shows to be significantly faster than traditional RAID and write-through caching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th ACM International Systems and Storage Conference, SYSTOR 2014
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781450329200
StatePublished - Jun 30 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event7th ACM International Systems and Storage Conference, SYSTOR 2014 - Haifa, Israel
Duration: Jun 10 2014Jun 12 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 7th ACM International Systems and Storage Conference, SYSTOR 2014


Other7th ACM International Systems and Storage Conference, SYSTOR 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications


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