Large-scale Web applications are finding it increasingly difficult to scale disk-based systems to get the performance they need. In addition, disk technology evolution has favored capacity over access speed, which means that disks today can store enormous amounts of information but cannot provide frequent access to it.
One possible solution is to shift the home of online data from disk to DRAM. A RAMCloud is a new class of storage intended for datacenters, where all information lives at all times in fast DRAM. Large-scale systems are created by aggregating the main memories of thousands of commodity servers. RAMClouds are interesting because they combine large scale (100-1000 TBytes) with 100-1000x faster latency than current systems (5-10 microseconds to access small amounts of RAMCloud data from application servers in the same datacenter). In addition to simplifying the creation of large-scale Web applications, we believe that RAMClouds may enable a new breed of data-intensive applications.
Click here for more information on RAMCloud.