SDI Seminar

Speaker: John Wilkes, Hewlett-Packard Labs, Palo Alto, CA

Attribute-managed storage

Date: December 3, 1996


As storage systems get larger, they also get more complicated. The current trend towards network-attached storage devices (NASD), enabled by high-speed storage networks like FibreChannel, is only making things worse. By the time you've assembled a storage system that can handle a few terabytes of online storage, you've got a real problem on your hands!

The Storage Systems Program at HP Labs is investigating what can be done to make things better again. Our approach is to ask for specifications of _what_ is wanted from the storage system, rather than _how_ it should be provided, and to embed an optimization engine, or solver, into the storage system to make the assignments of work to devices. The descriptions of what is wanted are provided in the form of attributes for different hunks of storage - hence the name.

The talk will explain the problem, outline our approach, indicate how far we've gotten, and where we are going. There'll be plenty of opportunity for questions.