Morning Tutorial 1: Understanding Large Scale Storage Systems

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 9:00 am12:30 pm

Constitutional Ballroom A

Brent Welch, Google


This tutorial is oriented toward administrators and developers who manage and use large-scale storage systems. An important goal of the tutorial is to give the audience the foundation for effectively comparing different storage system options, as well as a better understanding of the systems they already have.

Cluster-based parallel storage technologies are used to manage millions of files, thousands of concurrent jobs, and performance that scales from 10s to 100s of GB/sec. This tutorial will examine current state-of-the-art high-performance file systems and the underlying technologies employed to deliver scalable performance across a range of scientific and industrial applications.

The tutorial starts with a look at storage devices including traditional hard drives, SSD, and new non-volatile memory devices. Next, we look at how a file system is put together, comparing and contrasting SAN file systems, scale-out NAS, object-based parallel file systems, and cloud-based storage systems.

Topics include:

  • SSD technology
  • Scaling the data path
  • Scaling metadata
  • Fault tolerance
  • Manageability
  • Cloud storage

Brent Welch, Google

Brent Welch is a senior staff software engineer at Google, where he works on their public cloud system. He was Chief Technology Officer at Panasas and has also worked at Xerox-PARC and Sun Microsystems Laboratories. Brent has experience building software systems from the device driver level up through operating systems, network services, user applications, and graphical user interfaces. While getting his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, Brent designed and built the Sprite distributed file system. While at Panasas he helped build the PanFS cluster file system.  He is the creator of the TclHttpd web server, the exmh email user interface, and the author of Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk.

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