Material on storage systems primarily covers two types of storage: B-Trees and LSM Trees. When these two are contrasted, we hear about buffering and immutability and it almost starts looking like we can't have immutability without buffering and vice versa. However, if we dig into academic and industry works, we find a lot of useful approaches mixing and matching these properties in different ways.
Starting from the classic B-Tree papers from 1979 to the first LSM Trees paper in 1996, and continuing into 2019, we can reproduce and see the line of thinking that have lead the industry where we are today.
By revisiting this evolution of thinking and systematising the findings, we will improve our understanding of the currently used (and some useful yet overlooked) approaches to durable storage.
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