2006 USENIX Annual Technical Conference Abstract
Pp. 109114 of the Proceedings
Transparent Contribution of Memory
James Cipar, Mark D. Corner, and Emery D. Berger, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
A multitude of research and commercial projects have proposed
contributory systems that utilize wasted CPU cycles, idle memory and
free disk space found on end-user machines. These applications
include distributed computation such as signal processing and protein
folding, peer-to-peer backup, and large-scale distributed storage.
While users are generally willing to give up unused CPU cycles, the
use of memory by contributory applications deters participation in
such systems. Contributory applications pollute the machine's memory,
forcing user pages to be evicted to disk. This paging can disrupt user
activity for seconds or even minutes.
In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of an
operating system mechanism to support transparent contribution of
memory. A transparent memory manager (TMM) controls memory
usage by contributory applications, ensuring that users will not
notice an increase in the miss rate of their applications. TMM is
able to protect user pages such that page miss overhead is limited to
1.7%, while donating hundreds of megabytes of memory.
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