Report Number: CS-TR-91-1394
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Application-controlled physical memory using external
Author: Harty, Kieran
Author: Cheriton, David R.
Date: October 1991
Abstract: Next generation computer systems will have gigabytes of
physical memory and processors in the 100 MIPS range or
higher. Contrary to some conjectures, this trend requires
more sophisticated memory management support for memory-bound
computations such as scientific simulations and systems such
as large-scale database systems, even though memory
management for most programs will be less of a concern.
We describe the design, implementation and evaluation of a
virtual memory system that provides application control of
physical memory using external page-cache management. In this
approach, a sophisticated application is able to monitor and
control the amount of physical memory it has available for
execution, the exact contents of this memory, and the
scheduling and nature of page-in and page-out using the
abstraction of a physical page cache provided by the kernel.
We claim that this approach can significantly improve
performance for many memory-bound applications while reducing
kernel complexity, yet does not complicate other applications
or reduce their performance.