Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
FAST 2002 Abstract

Appia: automatic storage area network fabric design

Julie Ward, Michael O'Sullivan, Troy Shahoumian, and John Wilkes, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories


Designing a storage area network (SAN) fabric requires devising a set of hubs, switches and links to connect hosts to their storage devices. The network must be capable of simultaneously meeting specified data flow requirements between multiple host-device pairs, and it must do so cost-effectively, since large-scale SAN fabrics can cost millions of dollars. Given that the number of data flows can easily number in the hundreds, simple overprovisioned manual designs are often not attractive: they can cost significantly more than they need to, may not meet the performance needs, may expend valuable resources in the wrong places, and are subject to the usual sources of human error.

Producing SAN fabric designs automatically can address these difficulties, but it is a non-trivial problem: it extends the NP-hard minimum-cost fixed-charge multi-commodity network flow problem to include degree con-straints, node capacities, node costs, unsplittable flows, and other requirements. Nonetheless, we present here two efficient algorithms for automatic SAN design. We show that these produce cost-effective SAN designs in very reasonable running times, and explore how the two algorithms behave over a range of design problems.

  • View the full text of this paper in PDF and PostScript. Until January 2003, you will need your USENIX membership identification in order to access the full papers.
    The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2002 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: 27 Dec. 2001 ml
Technical Program
FAST 2002 Home