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Analysis of cache for streaming tape driveA tape subsystem consists of a controller and a tape drive. Tapes are used for backup, data interchange, and software distribution. The backup operation is addressed. During a backup operation, data is read from disk, processed in CPU, and then sent to tape. The processing speeds of a disk subsystem, CPU, and a tape subsystem are likely to be different. A powerful CPU can read data from a fast disk, process it, and supply the data to the tape subsystem at a faster rate than the tape subsystem can handle. On the other hand, a slow disk drive and a slow CPU may not be able to supply data fast enough to keep a tape drive busy all the time. The backup process may supply data to tape drive in bursts. Each burst may be followed by an idle period. Depending on the nature of the file distribution in the disk, the input stream to the tape subsystem may vary significantly during backup. To compensate for these differences and optimize the utilization of a tape subsystem, a cache or buffer is introduced in the tape controller. Most of the tape drives today are streaming tape drives. A streaming tape drive goes into reposition when there is no data from the controller. Once the drive goes into reposition, the controller can receive data, but it cannot supply data to the tape drive until the drive completes its reposition. A controller can also receive data from the host and send data to the tape drive at the same time. The relationship of cache size, host transfer rate, drive transfer rate, reposition, and ramp up times for optimal performance of the tape subsystem are investigated. Formulas developed will also show the advantages of cache watermarks to increase the streaming time of the tape drive, maximum loss due to insufficient cache, tradeoffs between cache and reposition times and the effectiveness of cache on a streaming tape drive due to idle times or interruptions due in host transfers. Several mathematical formulas are developed to predict the performance of the tape drive. Some examples are given illustrating the usefulness of these formulas. Finally, a summary and some conclusions are provided.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Chinnaswamy, V.
(Digital Equipment Corp. Maynard, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies, Volume 1,
Subject Category
Instrumentation And Photography
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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