Our paper "PerMA-Bench: Benchmarking Persistent Memory Access" by Lawrence Benson, Leon Papke, and Tilmann Rabl, was accepted at VLDB '22.
Persistent memory's (PMem) byte-addressability and persistence at DRAM-like speed with SSD-like capacity have the potential to cause a major performance shift in database storage systems. With the availability of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, initial benchmarks evaluate the performance of real PMem hardware. However, these results apply to only a single server and it is not yet clear how workloads compare across different PMem servers. In this paper, we propose PerMA-Bench, a configurable benchmark framework that allows users to evaluate the bandwidth, latency, and operations per second for customizable database-related PMem access. Based on PerMA-Bench, we perform an extensive evaluation of PMem performance across four different server configurations, containing both first- and second-generation Optane, with additional parameters such as DIMM power budget and number of DIMMs per server. We validate our results with existing systems and show the impact of low-level design choices. We conduct a price-performance comparison that shows while there are large differences across Optane DIMMs, PMem is generally competitive with DRAM. We discuss our findings and identify eight general and implementation-specific aspects that influence PMem performance and should be considered in future work to improve PMem-aware designs.