SPIN: Seamless Operating System Integration of Peer-to-Peer DMA Between SSDs and GPUs


Shai Bergman and Tanya Brokhman, Technion; Tzachi Cohen, unaffiliated; Mark Silberstein, Technion


Recent GPUs enable Peer-to-Peer Direct Memory Access (P2P) from fast peripheral devices like NVMe SSDs to exclude the CPU from the data path between them for efficiency. Unfortunately, using P2P to access files is challenging because of the subtleties of low-level nonstandard interfaces, which bypass the OS file I/O layers and may hurt system performance.

SPIN integrates P2P into the standard OS file I/O stack, dynamically activating P2P where appropriate, transparently to the user. It combines P2P with page cache accesses, re-enables read-ahead for sequential reads, all while maintaining standard POSIX FS consistency, portability across GPUs and SSDs, and compatibility with virtual block devices such as software RAID.

We evaluate SPIN on NVIDIA and AMD GPUs using standard file I/O benchmarks, application traces and end-to-end experiments. SPIN achieves significant performance speedups across a wide range of workloads, exceeding P2P throughput by up to an order of magnitude. It also boosts the performance of an aerial imagery rendering application by 2:6× by dynamically adapting to its input-dependent file access pattern, and enables 3:3× higher throughput for a GPU-accelerated log server.

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@inproceedings {203153,
author = {Shai Bergman and Tanya Brokhman and Tzachi Cohen and Mark Silberstein},
title = {{SPIN}: Seamless Operating System Integration of {Peer-to-Peer} {DMA} Between {SSDs} and {GPUs}},
booktitle = {2017 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 17)},
year = {2017},
isbn = {978-1-931971-38-6},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {167--179},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/atc17/technical-sessions/presentation/bergman},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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