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.
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