Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Virtual Storage Device, Controller, and Computer-Readable Recording Medium Having Stored Therein a Control Program", for Approval
The patent's assignee for patent application serial number 687615 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A technique called Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) has been spread to improve the reliability of a storage device. In particular, a storage device using the RAID technique and a thin-provisioning function in combination is adopted in order to reduce the storing region and managing cost in recent years.
"A thin-provisioning function is a technique of a storage system that provides a server with the appearance of a capacity more than that of a physical volume. In other words, a thin-provisioning is a function of virtualizing the appearance volume capacity seen from a superordinate device such as a server.
"Generally, when a storage capacity is to be increased, restarting of an Operating system (OS) of the superordinate device, which accompanies a halt of service, is needed for recognizing a newly-added Logical Unit Number (LUN) at the superordinate device. Using a thin-provisioning function can make the initial appearance of the size of the LUN seen from the OS more than the physical volume. With this configuration, a physical disk is added to a storage device when the using rate of the LUN increases without stopping the entire system. This makes it possible to increase the capacity of a physical disk without affecting the OS. As the above, the advantage of the thin-provisioning function is excellent in expandability.
"In generating a conventional LUN, which does not adopt the thin-provisioning function, a physical disk having a capacity corresponding to the LUN size has to be prepared beforehand. In contrast, the thin-provisioning function starts the operation of the storage device using the least physical disk and adds a physical disk in accordance with rise in the using rate of the LUN, which can operate the storage device at a low cost. At the same time, the using rate of the physical disk can be enhanced.
"As the above, the thin-provisioning function is used as a function of dealing with unexpected request of storage expansion (expandability) without halting the service, which is regarded as one of the problems of achieving, for example, a cloud storage system.
"Description will now be made in relation to an operation of the thin-provisioning function. Hereinafter, a LUN that is virtualized using the thin-provisioning function is referred to as a thin-provisioning volume (TPV).
"Upon receipt of an Input/Output request (I/O) command to a TPV from the superordinate device, the storage device operates as follows.
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