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10 June 2009: Colloquium Archival Storage

On June 10th, 2009 two prominent researchers from the USA and Switzerland visit the UT to hold a colloquium on Archival Storage.

When : 10 June 2009 at 14:00 - 17:00

Where: Horsttoren T1300


14:00 - 14:15 Opening

14:15 - 15:00 Prof. Ethan Miller: "Pergamum: an Evolvable Architecture for Reliable, Energy-Efficient Disk-Based Archival Storage"

15:00 - 15:15 Coffee break

15:15 - 16:00 Dr. Evangelos Eleftheriou: "Trends in Storage Technologies"

16:00 - 17:00 Coffee and disuccion


First Talk: Pergamum: an Evolvable Architecture for Reliable, Energy-Efficient Disk-Based Archival Storage

As the world moves to digital storage for archival purposes, there is an increasing demand for reliable, low-power, cost-effective, easy-to-maintain storage that can still provide adequate performance for information retrieval and auditing purposes. Unfortunately, no current digital archival system - tape, disk, or optical disk - adequately fulfills all of these requirements. To address this challenge, we developed Pergamum, which stores data in a network of "bricks", each of which contains a disk, low-power CPU, and flash memory. Pergamum stores additional redundant information on each brick, allowing the brick to repair itself in many cases, and takes advantage of the bricks' network connections and low-powered flash memory to constantly verify storage integrity between bricks, ensuring data preservation with low power requirements. If an error is found, Pergamum can rebuild the lost data with low peak energy consumption, avoiding the need for large-scale power and cooling infrastructure. Pergamum is also designed to evolve over time: it is based around standard IP-based networking protocols, and can accommodate bricks using any storage technology, as long as the bricks "speak" the standard protocols. Current research on Pergamum is exploring issues with integrating new devices and retiring old devices, as well as failure detection in a system with hundreds of thousands of devices.


Ethan L. Miller is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is the Associate Director of the Storage Systems Research Center (SSRC). He received an Sc.B. from Brown University in 1987 and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1995, where he was a member of the RAID project. His current research projects, which are funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and industry support for the SSRC, include long-term archival storage systems, scalable metadata systems, file systems for non-volatile memory technologies, reliable and secure storage systems, and issues in petabyte-scale storage systems. Prof. Miller's broader interests include file systems, operating systems, parallel and distributed systems, information retrieval, and computer security. Additional information is available at http://www.ssrc.ucsc.edu/.

Second Talk: Trends in Storage Technologies

The presentation highlights some of the leading-edge topics in storage technology research today. Starting from the archiving angle, we will discuss the future potential of tape technology and whether it will be possible to scale tape storage beyond the limits of 1-2 TB per cartridge, which is on the market today. We will also discuss the long-term possibility of probe-based storage in the archival space as a potential replacement of tape. Finally, we will look at the trends in online storage, specifically solid-state-based storage, and the notion of storage-class memory, which has the potential of revolutionizing architectures for data storage systems.


Dr. Eleftheriou received a Ph. D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, in 1985. He joined the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in 1986 where he currently manages the laboratory’s storage technologies department. In 2005, Dr. Eleftheriou was co-recipient of the Eduard Rhein Technology Award. He was co-recipient of the 2003 IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Prize Paper Award. In January 2002, he was elected Fellow of the IEEE, and in 2005, he became an IBM Fellow and was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology.