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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Friday, April 17, 2009

Storage and Computer Architecture: Why custom ASICs and hardware design can still play a big role in making computers and storage systems fast


Shmuel Shottan
Chief Technology Officer
BlueArc Corporation

Friday, April 17, 2009
10:10 am–12:00 pm

EE/CS 3-180

Network Attached Storage Systems (NAS) are pervasive. Most Network-Storage systems are essentially based on a standard processing platform running a tuned operating system. The performance and scalability attributes of such a system are throughput (as measured between the network clients and the disk subsystem), and Ops/Sec which define the system's ability to process metadata and handle file system requests. A novel architecture targeted at high performance involves the deployment of unique hardware algorithms to accelerate the system's performance. The presentation will highlight the architecture, the implementation and the resulting benefits. The presentation will build upon a standard processor architecture and will focus on: Offloading of networking and storage functions to special ASICs, achieving fine grain parallelism through the implementation of a file system in hardware, the dividing interface between the processor complex and the Hardware accelerated complex, and will focus on what functions reside in each element of the system to optimize performance. We will discuss several methods aimed at increasing performance, among them Multi-Core, I/O acceleration through another level of memory hierarchy, bandwidth aggregation through scaling out and clustering.