Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
FAST '03 Abstract

Using MEMS-Based Storage in Disk Arrays

Mustafa Uysal and Arif Merchant, Hewlett-Packard Labs; Guillermo A. Alvarez, IBM Almaden Research Center


Current disk arrays, the basic building blocks of high-performance storage systems, are built around two memory technologies: magnetic disk drives, and non-volatile DRAM caches. Disk latencies are higher by six orders of magnitude than non-volatile DRAM access times, but cache costs over 1000 times more per byte. A new storage technology based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) will soon offer a new set of performance and cost characteristics that bridge the gap between disk drives and the caches. We evaluate potential gains in performance and cost by incorporating MEMS-based storage in disk arrays. Our evaluation is based on exploring potential placements of MEMS-based storage in a disk array. We used detailed disk array simulators to replay I/O traces of real applications for the evaluation. We show that replacing disks with MEMS-based storage can improve the array performance dramatically, with a cost performance ratio several times better than conventional arrays even if MEMS storage costs ten times as much as disk. We also demonstrate that hybrid MEMS/disk arrays, which cost less than purely MEMS-based arrays, can provide substantial improvements in performance and cost/performance over conventional arrays.
  • View the full text of this paper in PDF.
    The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2003 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.
To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 3 Apr. 2003 aw
Technical Program
FAST '03 Home