Dr. Tao Xie was awarded an NSF CAREER Grant. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Dr. Xie’s grant is titled “Architectural Support for Integrating NAND Flash Solid State Disks into Enterprise-Class Storage Systems” and was awarded funding totaling $436,000.
With recent advances in capacity, bandwidth, and durability, NAND flash memory has been successfully employed in mobile devices like PDAs and laptops and it is starting to replace hard disks in desktop systems. Integrating NAND flash memory into server domain applications, which normally demands a high level of data reliability and exceptional random I/O performance, however, is much more challenging because NAND flash memory exhibits relatively poor random write performance and insufficient reliability due to limited erasure cycles. To address these problems, an architectural support for flash SSD must be devised in order to fundamentally boost its performance and longevity by a software/hardware combined effort. In this project, we will develop a novel flash disk storage architecture that exploits the addition of RAM and dedicated software schemes to incorporate flash SSDs into enterprise-class storage systems. We plan to implement a flash disk array prototype and deploy it in real-world data-intensive application. In addition, we will develop new software techniques such as a double-buffer write ordering management scheme and an inter-disk wear-leveling technique. This project will contribute to energy conservation, performance enhancement, data management, and reliability technology for enterprise-class storage systems by developing the flash disk array storage architecture, accompanied by an array of new software schemes. This project will also promote teaching, learning, an training by exposing both undergraduate and underrepresented students to technological and scientific underpinnings in the field of server-class storage systems.