I-CASH: Intelligently coupled array of SSD and HDD

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



This paper presents a new disk I/O architecture composed of an array of a flash memory SSD (solid state disk) and a hard disk drive (HDD) that are intelligently coupled by a special algorithm. We call this architecture I-CASH: Intelligently Coupled Array of SSD and HDD. The SSD stores seldom-changed and mostly read reference data blocks whereas the HDD stores a log of deltas between currently accessed I/O blocks and their corresponding reference blocks in the SSD so that random writes are not performed in SSD during online I/O operations. High speed delta compression and similarity detection algorithms are developed to control the pair of SSD and HDD. The idea is to exploit the fast read performance of SSDs and the high speed computation of modern multi-core CPUs to replace and substitute, to a great extent, the mechanical operations of HDDs. At the same time, we avoid runtime SSD writes that are slow and wearing. An experimental prototype I-CASH has been implemented and is used to evaluate I-CASH performance as compared to existing SSD/HDD I/O architectures. Numerical results on standard benchmarks show that I-CASH reduces the average I/O response time by an order of magnitude compared to existing disk I/O architectures such as RAID and SSD/HDD storage hierarchy, and provides up to 2.8 speedup over state-of-the-art pure SSD storage. Furthermore, I-CASH reduces random writes to SSD implying reduced wearing and prolonged life time of the SSD. © 2011 IEEE.

Publication Title

Proceedings - International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture