go-pmem: Native Support for Programming Persistent Memory in Go


Jerrin Shaji George, Mohit Verma, Rajesh Venkatasubramanian, and Pratap Subrahmanyam, VMware


Persistent memory offers persistence and byte-level addressability at DRAM-like speed. Operating system support and some user-level library support for persistent memory programming has emerged. But we think lack of native programming language support is an impediment to a programmer’s productivity.

This paper contributes go-pmem, an open-source extension to the Go language compiler and runtime that natively supports programming persistent memory. go-pmem extends Go to introduce a runtime garbage collected persistent heap. Often persistent data needs to be updated in a transactional (i.e., crash consistent) manner. To express transaction boundaries, go-pmem introduces a new txn block which can include most Go statements and function calls. go-pmem compiler uses static type analysis to log persistent updates and avoid logging volatile variable updates whenever possible.

To guide our design and validate our work, we developed a feature-poor Redis server go-redis-pmem using go-pmem. We show that go-redis-pmem offers more than 5x throughput than unmodified Redis using a high-end NVMe SSD on memtier benchmark and can restart up to 20x faster than unmodified Redis after a crash. In addition, using compiler microbenchmarks, we show go-pmem’s persistent memory allocator performs up to 40x better and transactions up to 4x faster than commercial libraries like PMDK and previous work like Mnemosyne.

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@inproceedings {254378,
author = {Jerrin Shaji George and Mohit Verma and Rajesh Venkatasubramanian and Pratap Subrahmanyam},
title = {go-pmem: Native Support for Programming Persistent Memory in Go},
booktitle = {2020 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 20)},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-939133-14-4},
pages = {859--872},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/atc20/presentation/george},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul,

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