Intra-Disk Parallelism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Authors:Sankar, Sriram, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Gurumurthi, Sudhanva, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Stan, Mircea, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia

Server storage systems use a large number of disks to achieve high performance, thereby consuming a significant amount of power. In this paper, we propose to significantly reduce the power consumed by such storage systems via intra-disk parallelism, wherein disk drives can exploit par- allelism in the I/O request stream. Intra-disk parallelism can facilitate replacing a large disk array with a smaller one, using the minimum number of disk drives needed to satisfy the capacity requirements. We show that the de- sign space of intra-disk parallelism is large and present a taxonomy to formulate specific implementations within this space. Using a set of commercial workloads, we perform a limit study to identify the key performance bottlenecks that arise when we replace a storage array that is tuned to provide high performance with a single high-capacity disk drive. We show that it is possible to match, and even sur- pass, the performance of a storage array for these work- loads by using a single disk drive of sufficient capacity that exploits intra-disk parallelism, while significantly reducing the power consumed by the storage system. We evaluate the performance and power consumption of disk arrays com- posed of intra-disk parallel drives, and discuss engineering and cost issues related to the implementation and deploy- ment of such disk drives.

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Source Citation:

Sankar, Sriram, Sudhanva Gurumurthi, and Mircea Stan. "Intra-Disk Parallelism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (2008).

University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
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