The RAMCloud Storage System

John Ousterhout
Ashish Gupta
Ankita Kejriwal
Collin Lee
Behnam Montazeri
Diego Ongaro
Seo Jin Park
Henry Qin
Mendel Rosenblum
Stephen Rumble
Ryan Stutsman
Stephen Yang
ACM Trans. Comput. Syst., 33(2015)


RAMCloud is a storage system that provides low-latency access to large-scale datasets. To achieve low latency, RAMCloud stores all data in DRAM at all times. To support large capacities (1PB or more), it aggregates the memories of thousands of servers into a single coherent key-value store. RAMCloud ensures the durability of DRAM-based data by keeping backup copies on secondary storage. It uses a uniform log-structured mechanism to manage both DRAM and secondary storage, which results in high performance and efficient memory usage. RAMCloud uses a polling-based approach to communication, bypassing the kernel to communicate directly with NICs; with this approach, client applications can read small objects from any RAMCloud storage server in less than 5μs, durable writes of small objects take about 13.5μs. RAMCloud does not keep multiple copies of data online; instead, it provides high availability by recovering from crashes very quickly (1 to 2 seconds). RAMCloud’s crash recovery mechanism harnesses the resources of the entire cluster working concurrently so that recovery performance scales with cluster size.

Research Areas