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Software Considerations in Mass <Storage <Systems Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131514D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 14 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Bernard T. O'Lear: AUTHOR [+4]


National Center for Atmospheric Research

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Software Considerations in Mass <Storage <Systems

Bernard T. O'Lear and Joseph H. Choy

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Because they represent a large investment, mass storage systems must be designed to increase software longevity and minimize user changes. This generic MSS model maintains most implementations.

The number of applications that require timely access to trillions of bits is growing, yet the size of the data base frequently makes the customary media infeasible. Disk storage is too expensive, and operator-mounted half-inch tape is too slow and prone to operator errors. Meanwhile, the implementation of local computer networks has made it desirable to have a single file-management and storage system available to every user on each host computer. A problem of this size mandates the use of automated mass storage systems.

A mass storage system consists of mass storage devices, command and data interfaces to host computers, and the necessary processors and software to manipulate and maintain the MSS. The term "mass storage device" refers to devices whose capacity is one or more orders of magnitude larger than the typical disk storage system (at least a trillion bits) and where cost per bit is one or two orders of magnitude cheaper than the typical disk storage system. The interface of the MSD to its host(s) can be accomplished through a specialized interface, a communications network node, a backfill disk system, or any combination of the above. The software functions of an MSS can be performed by a CPU within the MSS itself' or they can be shared in whole or in part with the host(s) utilizing the MSS.

This article looks at some possible MSS software requirements as they apply to single-host connections and a single MSS serving the data storage needs of more than one host computer. As various systems are developed, the aspects of the software functions for an MSS should fall into the categories described below. We will describe general MSS software requirements with respect to definition, interaction, and location of the software functions.

A generic MSS

A generic MSS will be used to facilitate discussion of the various software functions. Although MSDs are considered very specific pieces of hardware, the software to manipulate MSDs and transfer data usually exists on more than one machine throughout a computer complex. Our object is to discuss the overall characteristics of the software functions, show how these functions transcend hardware components, define the functions operationally, describe...