ASA-FTL: An adaptive separation aware flash translation layer for solid state drives

Wei Xie, Yong Chen, Philip C. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The flash-memory based Solid State Drive (SSD) presents a promising storage solution for increasingly critical data-intensive applications due to its low latency (high throughput), high bandwidth, and low power consumption. Within an SSD, its Flash Translation Layer (FTL) is responsible for exposing the SSD's flash memory storage to the computer system as a simple block device. The FTL design is one of the dominant factors determining an SSD's lifespan and performance. To reduce the garbage collection overhead and deliver better performance, we propose a new, low-cost, adaptive separation-aware flash translation layer (ASA-FTL) that combines sampling, data clustering and selective caching of recency information to accurately identify and separate hot/cold data while incurring minimal overhead. We use sampling for light-weight identification of separation criteria, and our dedicated selective caching mechanism is designed to save the limited RAM resource in contemporary SSDs. Using simulations of ASA-FTL with both real-world and synthetic workloads, we have shown that our proposed approach reduces the garbage collection overhead by up to 28% and the overall response time by 15% compared to one of the most advanced existing FTLs. We find that the data clustering using a small sample size provides significant performance benefit while only incurring a very small computation and memory cost. In addition, our evaluation shows that ASA-FTL is able to adapt to the changes in the access pattern of workloads, which is a major advantage comparing to existing fixed data separation methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalParallel Computing
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


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