Steven Swanson

New PhDs, New Students

Big changes this fall, and all of them good! In the last two weeks two new students have joined the group (Welcome TJ and Nara!) and two have finished their PhDs (Congrats Drs. Jian Yang and Lu Zhang!). We've also recently said a fond farewell to Joe Izraelevitz, a post-doc who's now a professor at CU Boulder. I look forward to great things from all them.

PIRL Blog Launches

Following the success of the inaugural Persistent in Real Life workshop (PIRL'19), we've launched a blog focused on how to build systems using persistent memory. Check it out.

Kunal Goes to PODC

Newly minted Ph.D. and NVSL alumnus Dr. Kunal Korgaonkar jetted to Toronto to present his work on scalable, distributed algorithms that provide a path to realize large persistent memory systems. The work was presented at ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) ‘19  - a flagship distributed computing conference. After graduating last spring, Kunal has taken a position as a postdoctoral research fellow at Technion (Israel) where he is working on building real in-memory computing systems from the ground up.

My Quadcopter Class is Going to SIGGRAPH

I'm presenting my paper describing a class in which students build a quadcopter from scratch at SIGGRAPH next week in LA. If you want to build your own, the materials are all on github.

First PIRL Conference Wraps Up

The Non-Volatile Systems Lab (in conjunction with SNIA) hosted the first Persistent Programming In Real Life (PIRL) conference earlier this week. PIRL is a small meeting of software developers on the front lines of understanding how to use new persistent memory technologies.

We had stellar slate of speakers and keynotes from industry and academia. You can check out all the detail at the PIRL website.

NVSL Publishes First Characterization of Intel 3DXPoint DIMMs

This week we released the full version of our report detailing the performance of Intel's 3DXPoint DIMMs (technically "Intel DC Optane Memory Modules").

The key takeaway is that these DIMMs are not just 'slower, persistent DRAM'. They have their own idiosyncrasies that programmers will have to wrestle with.

Former NVSL Postdoc Wins Best Paper Award at OSDI'18

Dr. Yiying Zhang (who was a post-doc in the NVSL until not too long ago) won the best paper award at OSDI 2018 this year for her group's paper "LegoOS: A Disseminated, Distributed OS for Hardware Resource Disaggregation".  Here's the abstract:

The monolithic server model where a server is the unit of deployment, operation, and failure is meeting its limits in the face of several recent hardware and application trends. To improve heterogeneity, elasticity, resource utilization, and failure handling in datacenters, we believe that datacenters should break monolithic servers into disaggregated, network-attached hardware components. Despite the promising benefits of hardware resource disaggregation, no existing OSes or software systems can properly manage it. We propose a new OS model called the split kernel to manage disaggregated systems. Splitkernel disseminates traditional OS functionalities into loosely-coupled monitors, each of which runs on and manages a hardware component. Using the splitkernel model, we built LegoOS, a new OS designed for hardware resource disaggregation. LegoOS appears to users as a set of distributed servers. Internally, LegoOS cleanly separates processor, memory, and storage devices both at the hardware level and the OS level. We implemented LegoOS from scratch and evaluated it by emulating hardware components using commodity servers. Our evaluation results show that LegoOS’s performance is comparable to monolithic Linux servers, while largely improving resource packing and failure rate over monolithic clusters.

January 26 CRISP Kickoff

Workshop Hotel

720 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, California 92014
United States

UCSD CSE Building

Google maps: here.

Unfortunately, there is no street address (why?  Good question).  The closest cross street is Voigt Dr and Equality.

We are meeting in room 4140.  It's at the southwest corner of the building, but you can't enter at that end.  There are new, fancy maps posted around the building that will help you find your way.


If you are driving, I've already sent your parking space number.  The lot is #P502.   The parking spots are near the street. (Upper left marker on the map).  The parking space numbers are on the ground.  You don't need any ID or placard.


There will be two shuttles from the Best Western to UCSD at 8:30 and 9:15.  They will drop off near the CS building (lower right marker on the map).

There will be one return shuttle at 6pm returning to the Best Western.


Dinner is at Il Fornaio in Del Mar at 7:00.  I had two make two reservations for 8.  They are both under "Steven Swanson".

According to Google it’s 15 minute walk to restaurant from the hotel.  Folks not staying at the hotel are on their own for getting there (although UCSD faculty might be able to drive, but I don’t know, I haven’t asked).

Del Mar Plaza
1555 Camino Del Mar, Suite 301
Del Mar, CA 92014

Creating Decent Graphs

Good graphs help convey your insights about the system you have built and/or measure by providing the information your reader needs and wants.  Bad graphs can leave the reader baffled, squinting, and drawing the wrong conclusions about your work.  While it's not reasonable to expect astonishing insight from every graph, you  can always make the readable and easy to interpret.

Read more

Morteza Wins Best Paper Award

Morteza Hoseinzadeh's work at Samsung over the summer won the Best Paper Award at IPCCC 2017.  The work focuses on optimizing the performance of NVMe storage systems in the cloud.   Morteza's collaborators include Professor Ningfang Mi and PhD students, Zhengyu Yang and Janki Bhimani from Northeastern University.  Well done, Morteza!