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FAST '08 Abstract

Pp. 313328 of the Proceedings

Using Utility to Provision Storage Systems

John D. Strunk, Carnegie Mellon University; Eno Thereska, Microsoft Research, Cambridge UK; Christos Faloutsos and Gregory R. Ganger, Carnegie Mellon University


Provisioning a storage system requires balancing the costs of the solution with the benefits that the solution will provide. Previous provisioning approaches have started with a fixed set of requirements and the goal of automatically finding minimum cost solutions to meet them. Such approaches neglect the cost-benefit analysis of the purchasing decision.

Purchasing a storage system involves an extensive set of trade-offs between metrics such as purchase cost, performance, reliability, availability, power, etc. Increases in one metric have consequences for others, and failing to account for these trade-offs can lead to a poor return on the storage investment. Using a collection of storage acquisition and provisioning scenarios, we show that utility functions enable this cost-benefit structure to be conveyed to an automated provisioning tool, enabling the tool to make appropriate trade-offs between different system metrics including performance, data protection, and purchase cost.

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Last changed: 7 May 2008 mn