Re-think Data Management Software Design Upon the Arrival of Storage Hardware with Built-in Transparent Compression


Ning Zheng, ScaleFlux Inc.; Xubin Chen, RPI; Jiangpeng Li, Qi Wu, Yang Liu, Yong Peng, Fei Sun, and Hao Zhong, ScaleFlux Inc.; Tong Zhang, ScaleFlux Inc. and RPI
Outstanding New Research Direction Award Finalist


This position paper advocates that storage hardware with built-in transparent compression brings promising but largely unexplored opportunities to innovate data storage management software (e.g., database and filesystem). Modern storage appliances (e.g., all-flash array) and some latest SSDs (solid-state drives) can perform data compression transparently from OS and user applications. Such storage hardware decouples logical storage space utilization efficiency from true physical storage space utilization efficiency. This allows data storage management software intentionally waste logical storage space in return for employing simpler data structures, leading to lower implementation complexity and higher performance. Following this theme, we carried out three preliminary case studies in the context of relational database and key-value (KV) store. Initial experimental results well demonstrate the promising potential, and it is our hope that this preliminary study will attract more interest and activities towards exploring this new research area.

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@inproceedings {254302,
author = {Ning Zheng and Xubin Chen and Jiangpeng Li and Qi Wu and Yang Liu and Yong Peng and Fei Sun and Hao Zhong and Tong Zhang},
title = {Re-think Data Management Software Design Upon the Arrival of Storage Hardware with Built-in Transparent Compression},
booktitle = {12th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems (HotStorage 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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