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Ramcloud: When Disks and Flash Memory Are Just Too Slow

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Data center

Credit: Courtesy of HPC Wire

Stanford University researchers have developed RAMCloud, a scalable, high performance storage approach that can store data in dynamic random access memory and aggregate the memory resources of an entire data center.

The researchers say the scalability and performance components make RAMCloud a candidate for high performance computing, especially with those applications that are data-intensive. "If RAMCloud succeeds, it will probably displace magnetic disk as the primary storage technology in data centers," according to the researchers, who are led by professor John Ousterhout.

RAMCloud's two most important features are its ability to scale across thousands of servers and its extremely low latency. RAMCloud has a latency that is 1,000 times faster than disk and about five times faster than flash. In addition, the researchers predict that RAMClouds as big as 500 terabytes can be built.

Although there is no set timeline to turn RAMCloud into a commercial offering, the researchers do not foresee any technological hurdles.

From HPC Wire
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