Network RAM revisited

Greg Lindahl lindahl at keyresearch.com
Wed May 28 14:24:14 EDT 2003


On Wed, May 28, 2003 at 10:47:58AM -0400, Matt Phillips wrote:

> I am a student about to start work on using Network RAMs as swap space in a 
> cluster environment, as a part of semester project.

This is not as simple as it looks, because of deadlock situations. If
you have to frantically start swapping because you're low on memory,
how are you going to be sure that the process or kernel thread which
is going to send memory to another node's ram (swap out) isn't itself
going to have to allocate memory?

There are 2 extensions beyond this project which are Really Cool. The
first is a shared database cache, like Oracle's Cache Fusion. The
second is a global cache for a shared filesystem. If you make the
filesystem read-only, then this might make a better semester project
than swap. For your application, you could use BLAST. You could even
hack up BLAST's I/O to go through a library instead of through the
kernel. That would significantly reduce the complexity of the project.

-- greg
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