Online maintenance of very large random samples on flash storage

Online maintenance of very large random samples on flash storage Recent advances in flash storage have made it an attractive alternative for data storage in a wide spectrum of computing devices, such as embedded sensors, mobile phones, PDA’s, laptops, and even servers. However, flash storage has many unique characteristics that make existing data management/analytics algorithms designed for magnetic disks perform poorly with flash storage. For example, while random reads can be nearly as fast as sequential reads, random writes and in-place data updates are orders of magnitude slower than sequential writes. In this paper, we consider an important fundamental problem that would seem to be particularly challenging for flash storage: efficiently maintaining a very large random sample of a data stream (e.g., of sensor readings). First, we show that previous algorithms such as reservoir sampling and geometric file are not readily adapted to flash. Second, we propose B-F ile , an energy-efficient abstraction for flash storage to store self-expiring items, and show how a B-F ile can be used to efficiently maintain a large sample in flash. Our solution is simple, has a small (RAM) memory footprint, and is designed to cope with flash constraints in order to reduce latency and energy consumption. Third, we provide techniques to maintain biased samples with a B-F ile and to query the large sample stored in a B-F ile for a subsample of an arbitrary size. Finally, we present an evaluation with flash storage that shows our techniques are several orders of magnitude faster and more energy-efficient than (flash-friendly versions of) reservoir sampling and geometric file. A key finding of our study, of potential use to many flash algorithms beyond sampling, is that “semi-random” writes (as defined in the paper) on flash cards are over two orders of magnitude faster and more energy-efficient than random writes. The VLDB Journal Springer Journals

Online maintenance of very large random samples on flash storage

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Copyright © 2010 by Springer-Verlag
Computer Science; Database Management
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