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FAST '04 — Abstract

Pp. 59-72 of the Proceedings

Designing for disasters

Kimberley Keeton, Cipriano Santos, and Dirk Beyer, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories; Jeffrey Chase, Duke University; John Wilkes, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories


Losing information when a storage device or data center fails can bring a company to its knees—or put it out of business altogether. Such catastrophic outcomes can readily be prevented with today's storage technology, albeit with some difficulty: the design space of solutions is surprisingly large, the configuration choices are myriad, and the alternatives interact in complicated ways. Thus, solutions are often over- or under-engineered, and administrators may not understand the degree of dependability they provide.

Our solution is a tool that automates the design of disaster-tolerant solutions. Driven by financial objectives and detailed models of the behaviors and costs of the most common solutions (tape backup, remote mirroring, site failover, and site reconstruction), it appropriately selects designs that meet its objectives under specified disaster scenarios. As a result, designing for disasters no longer needs to be a hit-or-miss affair.

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