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The average PC contains increasingly large amounts of storage with an ever greater amount left unused. There is an opportunity for organizations to harness the vast unused storage capacity on their PCs to create a very large, low cost, shared storage system. What is needed is a virtual storage system to exploit and manage the unused portions of existing PC storage devices and make it reliably accessible to users and applications. We call our vision of such a virtual storage system Storage@desk (SD). This paper describes a study of machine characteristics and usage in a model organization as a first step towards exploring the feasibility of Storage@desk. This paper presents the results of our data collection efforts, our analysis of the data, our simulation results, and our conclusion that a Storage@desk system is indeed feasible and holds promise as a cost effective way to create massive storage systems.
Date of Conference: 17-17 Nov. 2006