Elevating Commodity Storage with the SALSA Host Translation Layer

To satisfy increasing storage demands in both capacity and performance, industry has turned to multiple storage technologies, including Flash SSDs and SMR disks. These devices employ a translation layer that conceals the idiosyncrasies of their mediums and enables random access. Device translation layers are, however, inherently constrained: resources on the drive are scarce, they cannot be adapted to application requirements, and lack visibility across multiple devices. As a result, performance and durability of many storage devices is severely degraded.
In this paper, we present SALSA: a translation layer that executes on the host and allows unmodified applications to better utilize commodity storage. SALSA supports a wide range of single- and multi-device optimizations and, because is implemented in software, can adapt to specific workloads. We describe SALSA’s design, and demonstrate its significant benefits using microbenchmarks and case studies based on three applications: MySQL, the Swift object store, and a video server.

By: Nikolas Ioannou, Kornilios Kourtis, and Ioannis Koltsidas

Published in: 2018 IEEE 26th International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS) , IEEE, p.DOI: 10.1109/MASCOTS.2018.00035 in 2018


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to reports@us.ibm.com .