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Implementation and Evaluation of a Remote Memory Pager

Evangelos P. Markatos - George Dramitinos - Kosmas Papachristos

Technical Report FORTH/ICS 129

Institute of Computer Science (ICS)
Foundation for Research & Technology -- Hellas (FORTH)
P.O.Box 1385
Heraklio, Crete, GR-711-10 GREECE

March 1995


Traditional operating systems use magnetic disks as paging devices, even though the cost of each page-fault measured in processor cycles continues to increase.

In this paper we explore the use or remote main memory for paging. We describe the design, implementation and evaluation of a pager that uses main memory of remote workstations as a faster-than-disk paging device. Our pager has been implemented as a block device driver linked to the DEC/OSF1 operating system, without any modifications to the kernel code. Using several test applications we measure the performance of remote memory paging over an Ethernet interconnection network and find it to be faster than traditional disk paging.

We conclude that the increasing use of fast local area networks will improve the performance of remote memory paging even more.

Evangelos Markatos
Fri Mar 24 14:41:51 EET 1995