M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentKanfer Ori
SubjectStorage Technologies: A Scientific Technological Survey
DepartmentDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Raphael Rom


In this work, we survey and critique storage technologies. We start with an introduction to storage, emphasizing the importance of data as an asset, and storage as a distinct resource. We present an industry-developed model used to describe and compare common storage architectures, and use the model to illustrate practical, possible storage architectures. The fundamental components of the storage I/O path are listed as we traverse the path from the application to the storage devices. We describe the SCSI (Small Computer System Interface), the dominant storage I/O technology, and present common storage interconnect technologies. Techniques used for improving reliability, performance and availability are presented. Storage networking technologies are introduced, including Fiber Channel, the currently dominant storage networking technology, IP storage architectures that are trying to converge storage networks with data networks, and network-attached storage devices which are dedicated to serving files over the network. We present the Virtual Interface Architecture that attempts to improve performance of distributed applications by reducing the latency of critical message passing operations, and present Direct Access File Systems, which by utilizing the Virtual Interface Architecture, reduce the common overhead associated with file transfers over a network. We describe InfiniBand, a technology for interconnecting processor nodes and I/O nodes to form a systems area network. Finally, Object Storage which changes the abstraction level of storage building blocks is presented.