FAST 2002 Abstract
Hippodrome: running circles around storage administration
Eric Anderson, Michael Hobbs, Kimberly Keeton, Susan Spence, Mustafa Uysal, Alistair Veitch, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories
Storage system configuration, even at the enterprise
scale, is traditionally undertaken by human experts using
a time-consuming process of trial and error, guided
by simple rules of thumb. Due to the complexity of the
design process and lack of workload information, the resulting systems often cost significantly more than necessary,
or fail to perform adequately.
Our solution to this problem is to automate the design
and configuration process using a tool we call Hippodrome.
It can explore the design space more thoroughly
than humans, and implement the design automatically,
thereby eliminating many tedious, error-prone operations.
Hippodrome is structured as an iterative loop: it analyzes
a workload to determine its requirements, creates a new
storage system design to better meet these requirements,
migrates the existing system to the new design. It repeats
the loop until it finds a storage system design that
satisfies the workload's I/O requirements. This paper describes
the Hippodrome loop and demonstrates that our
prototype implementation converges rapidly to appropriate
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