NICO

NICO: reducing software-transparent crash consistency cost for persistent memory. Emerging non-volatile byte-addressable memory (NVM) introduces many opportunities and challenges to memory system designs. As data become persistent at main memory level, persistent memory systems need to guarantee the consistent state of data in the event of system failures (i.e., crash consistency). Existing studies propose persistent memory designs with software-transparent crash consistency guarantee to reduce programmers’ manual effort when taking advantage of persistent memory. However, these designs are suboptimal due to their performance overhead caused by creating checkpoints. In this paper, we propose a Non-Intrusive memory COntroller design (NICO) that uses backend operations for achieving software-transparent crash consistency with minimized checkpointing overhead. By moving data persist operations to the background, NICO fully decouples data persist operations from volatile execution and cache management. To efficiently enforce crash consistency, we design a lightweight checkpointing scheme which only needs to flush and modify a very small amount of data when creating a consistent snapshot of persistent memory data. Our results show that NICO reduces the percent of time spent on checkpointing to within 0.9 percent across different benchmarks, and improves performance by 2.04× compared with existing checkpoint-based designs on average.