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Institute for Computing Systems Architecture

Computer Architecture Simulation & Visualisation


Storlite: Storage Systems Optical Networking

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Project Overview

The Storlite project was a collaborative industry-academia research project funded under the DTI/EPSRC LINK Information Storage and Displays (LINK ISD) programme and led by Xyratex, a disk storage company based in Havant. It has involved an investigation of the application of affordable short-reach optical backplane technologies to future architectures of storage systems. Xyratex has worked with Exxelis (a company based in Glasgow) and University College London on optical components and with ICSA at the University of Edinburgh (EPSRC grant GR/S28143) on the simulation of RAID systems.

As the intra-enclosure transmission rate and the number of disks required in each storage sub-system increase, implementing electrical backplanes in storage systems is becoming increasingly difficult. Hence, the optical part of the Storlite project investigated how to implement optical backplanes for storage systems to make them more scalable.

The simulation part of the project involved using HASE to create simulation models of RAID storage systems and industry standard benchmark traffic generators (SPC and IOmeter) and using these models to identify performance bottlenecks, to evaluate communication protocol options and to explore the design space for new hardware acceleration architecture options for next generation storage sub-systems based on optical backplanes.

Details of the results obtained can be found in the EPSRC Final Report.




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Institute for Computing Systems Architecture, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Last change 1/08/2006

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