Split'n Trace NVM: Leveraging Library OSes for Semantic Memory Tracing


With the rise of non-volatile memory (NVM) as a replacement for traditional main memories (e.g. DRAM), memory access analysis is becoming an increasingly important topic. NVMs suffer from technical shortcomings as such as reduced cell endurance which call for precise memory access analysis in order to design maintenance strategies that can extend the memory’s lifetime. While existing memory access analyzers trace memory accesses at various levels, from the application level with code instrumentation, down to the hardware level where software is executed on special analysis hardware, they usually interpret main memory as a consecutive area, without investigating the application semantics of different memory regions. In contrast, this paper presents a memory access simulator, which splits the main memory into semantic regions and enriches the simulation result with semantics from the analyzed application. We leverage a library-based operating system called Unikraft by ascribing memory regions of the simulation to the relevant OS libraries. This novel approach allows us to derive a detailed analysis of which libraries (and thus functionalities) are responsible for which memory access patterns. Through offline profiling with our simulator, we provide a fine-granularity analysis of memory access patterns that provide insights for the design of efficient NVM maintenance strategies.

9th Non-Volatile Memory Systems and Applications Symposium (NVMSA)