Steven Swanson

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.

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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!

The Expertise, Ignorance, and Personal Failings of the Program Committee (and Other Readers)

A research paper's task is to convey the insights of your work to your audience -- first the reviewers and then your research community.  To get published, your paper must satisfy the program committee.  Once published, it has to hold the interest of other researchers and engineers.  If it fails at either of these tasks, it will not have the impact it should.

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Engineering Reliable Persistence @ ACM SIGARCH Blog

Integrating non-volatile main memories (NVMMs) into the storage/memory hierarchy make data integrity a critical design consideration.  Protecting data in NVMM is a complex problem:  media errors and software bugs can corrupt data and the reliability of each memory cell degrades as it is used, potentially leading to premature failure.  Hardware and software both have a role to play, but trying to solve problems in the wrong place can needlessly complicate the system, leave the system open to data corruption, and/or sacrifice performance.Read more

How the Sausage is Made

Until you've served on a program committee, the review process may seem opaque and mysterious.  PC members generally try to do a good, impartial job of selecting papers, but PC's are human institutions, humans are flawed, so PC's are imperfect.   Understanding the PC process can make the results less confusing, and provide useful guidance for crafting papers.

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"Make it so, Number One."

You've done it!  You have played the key role in a compelling piece of research.  You are the first author.   You get the glory, but you also have a lot of work to do.

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An overview of Intel Optane technology -- Shattering the I/O Bottleneck

Sanjeev Trika
The I/O bottleneck has been a longstanding problem on computing platforms; disks are much slower than memory which is much slower than the CPU. While this is typically addressed by various forms of data and instruction caching and tiering, there remains a large gap between performance, cost, and densities of storage and main memory. We are tackling this problem head-on with IntelTM Optane technologies. The technologies use a new Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) which effectively fills the gap, and can be used in both Solid-State Drive and extended-memory applications. We introduce new metrics for evaluating performance of such fast NVM that can be used for both storage and memory applications, present results on example applications, and challenge the audience to innovate new system-level and application-level usages.
Speaker Biography: 
Sanjeev Trika is a Principal Engineer, and Director of Firmware/Software R&D, in the NVM Solutions Group (NSG) at Intel Corp. He leads key innovations in storage technologies, and holds 30+ patents.

Coming Soon to a Podium Near You...

A talk is like a movie trailer for your paper -- if you do your job, the audience should be excited to read it.

Movie trailers can rely on suspense, mystery, and movie stars to build excitement.  You, however, will have to rely on the clear, direct communication of the WHY, WHAT, and HOW of your work, and that requires careful thought and judicious choices about what keep in and what to leave out.Read more