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File Systems and Storage

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Originally published in Queue vol. 10, no. 10
see this item in the ACM Digital Library



Pat Helland - Mind Your State for Your State of Mind
The interactions between storage and applications can be complex and subtle.

Alex Petrov - Algorithms Behind Modern Storage Systems
Different uses for read-optimized B-trees and write-optimized LSM-trees

Mihir Nanavati, Malte Schwarzkopf, Jake Wires, Andrew Warfield - Non-volatile Storage
Implications of the Datacenter's Shifting Center

Thanumalayan Sankaranarayana Pillai, Vijay Chidambaram, Ramnatthan Alagappan, Samer Al-Kiswany, Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau - Crash Consistency
Rethinking the Fundamental Abstractions of the File System


(newest first)

Terry | Tue, 11 Dec 2012 16:37:40 UTC

I agree with Jaya and with Attila - if you load a SSD with an OS or anything that can be easily reloaded how can you go wrong. One comment this article was about SSD and not Apple, please! This was one of the best articles I have read

Jaya | Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:31:02 UTC

Excellent article, Michael. Very clearly written with perfect coverage and details!

Archie | Sat, 27 Oct 2012 04:51:04 UTC

Best of both worlds: get a new MacBook Pro with SSD drive and use Time Machine to back it up.

Very fast and no worries.

Attila | Mon, 22 Oct 2012 23:56:01 UTC

As usual, the thruth is somewhere in between: SSD's might not be good for intensive computing and storage, but cannot be beaten in terms of speed.

I wouldn't store my family pictures on a SSD - but I wouldn't install my operating system on anything else than a SSD :D

So use them as they should be used - SSD for speed, HDD for endurance.

tarang | Mon, 22 Oct 2012 17:21:28 UTC

Good article. But images would make its great.

Igor Damiani | Mon, 22 Oct 2012 15:16:30 UTC

Very great article!!!! Congratulations! I think that SSD today are unreliable: a HDD can work for many years without any problem. SSD can die today, tomorrow, without any kind of notice. There are no statistics about SSD reliability on the web??

Bob | Mon, 22 Oct 2012 15:10:04 UTC

@John Blackburn While there is a small segment of low cost SSD's out there that seem to be fairly unreliable, the majority of the drives out there work and last great. I was an "early adopter" putting one in my laptop around 2008 as my primary drive. The performance increase was incredible - it extended the useful life of that machine to the point that it is still useful today.

Since then I have installed countless SSDs in friends and family machines and have yet to come across a single failure. As with any electronic device, the time will come, but contrast that to my experience with mechanical HDD's (which I install very few of these days unless someone just needs mass storage), and they are extremely reliable.

As with anything, you need to apply the technology as it was intended. SSDs are not a good choice for a DVR box, but for daily computing they can not be beat. You're kidding yourself if you don't see them taking over the future "in any meaningful way". Read up on the typical GB/day that can be written to a typical consumer level SSD, it might surprise you how long they can be expected to last....

John Blackburn | Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:55:26 UTC

The most common story I hear amongst my friends who have bought a drive that is part SSD and part HDD is " Yes, it was nice and fast but the SSD bit doesn't work any more; the HDD bit is still working fine though".

It seems that as long as you use SSD as write very occasionally and read often, then they work fine but disk usage in computers is generally not like that. Also, the problems seems to be embedded in the physics so I don't see SSD replacing HDD in any meaningful way; even for the long term.

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