Proceedings of the 21st ACM international conference on Multimedia - MM '13
Video streaming on the Internet is popular and the need to store and stream video content using CDNs is continually on the rise thanks to services such as Hulu and Netflix. Adaptive HTTP streaming using the deployed CDN infrastructure has become the _ de facto standard for meeting the increasing demand for video streaming on the Internet. The storage architecture that is used for storing and streaming the video content is the focus of this study. Hard-disk as the storage medium has been the
... um has been the norm for enterprise-class storage servers for the longest time. More recently, multi-tiered storage servers (incorporating SSDs) such as Sun's ZFS and Facebook's flashcache offer an alternative to disk-based storage servers for enterprise applications. Both these systems use the SSD as a cache between the DRAM and the hard disk. The thesis of our work is that the current-state-of-the art in multi-tiered storage systems, architected for general-purpose enterprise workloads, do not cater to the unique needs of adaptive HTTP streaming. We present FlashStream, a multi-tiered storage architecture that addresses the unique needs of adaptive HTTP streaming. Like ZFS and flashcache, it also incorporates SSDs as a cache between the DRAM and the hard disk. The key architectural elements of FlashStream include optimal write granularity to overcome the write amplification effect of flash memory SSDs and a QoS-sensitive caching strategy that monitors the activity of the flash memory SSDs to ensure that video streaming performance is not hampered by the caching activity. We have implemented FlashStream and experimentally compared it with ZFS and flashcache for adaptive HTTP streaming workloads. We show that FlashStream outperforms both these systems for the same hardware configuration. Specifically, it is better by a factor of two compared to its nearest competitor, namely ZFS. In addition, we have compared FlashStream with a traditional two-level storage architecture (DRAM + HDDs), and have shown that, for the same investment cost, FlashStream provides 33% better performance and 94% better energy efficiency.