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The evolution of storage systems

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2 Author(s)
R. J. T. Morris ; IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120, USA ; B. J. Truskowski

Storage systems are built by taking the basic capability of a storage device, such as the hard disk drive, and adding layers of hardware and software to obtain a highly reliable, high-performance, and easily managed system. We explain in this paper how storage systems have evolved over five decades to meet changing customer needs. First, we briefly trace the development of the control unit, RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technologies, copy services, and basic storage management technologies. Then, we describe how the emergence of low-cost local area data networking has allowed the development of network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) technologies, and we explain how block virtualization and SAN file systems are necessary to fully reap the benefits of these technologies. We also discuss how the recent trend in storage systems toward managing complexity, ease-of-use, and lowering the total cost of ownership has led to the development of autonomic storage. We conclude with our assessment of the current state-of-the-art by presenting a set of challenges driving research and development efforts in storage systems.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 2 )