Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Operating System Management of MEMS-based Storage Devices

John Linwood Griffin, Steven W. Schlosser,
Gregory R. Ganger, David F. Nagle*

May 2000

Keywords: Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), operating systems, secondary storage, request scheduling, data placement, fault tolerance, power management

MEMS-based storage devices promise significant performance, reliability, and power improvements relative to disk drives. This paper explores how the physical characteristics of these devices change four aspects of operating system management: request scheduling, data placement, failure management, and power management. Adaptations of disk request scheduling algorithms are found to be appropriate for these devices; however, new data placement schemes are shown to better match their differing mechanical positioning characteristics. With aggressive internal redundancy, MEMS-based storage devices can tolerate failure modes that cause data loss for disks. In addition, MEMS-based storage devices enable a finer granularity of OS-level power management because the devices can be stopped and started rapidly and their mechanical components can be individually enabled or disabled to reduce power consumption.

23 pages

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