The patent's assignee for patent number 8645626 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to methods, systems and computer programs for improving the read performance on storage systems with Hard Disk Drives (HDD).
"Currently, HDD based Input/Output (IO) performance is limited, especially in random read situations. Sequential reads can be served out of a dynamic RAM (DRAM) based cache associated with the HDD through prefetching, which can be performed on parallel streams. Both random and sequential write performance are improved by the use of caches, such as DRAM caches. Caches absorb a number of write IOs and HDDs can be used effectively independently from the IO depth.
"Random reads typically can't be served out of the cache and HDD head strokes (reads) are required to access the data on the storage media. Additionally, the effective use of HDDs depends on the IO queue depth (at a queue depth of one the random read performance is equal to the random read performance of one drive.)
"It is in this context that embodiments of the invention arise."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of the present invention provide methods, systems, and computer programs for managing storage in a computer system using a solid state drive (SSD) read cache memory. The method includes receiving a read request, which causes a miss in a RAM cache. After the RAM cache miss, the method determines whether the data to satisfy the read request is available in the SSD memory. If the data is in SSD memory, the read request is served from the SSD memory. Otherwise, SSD memory tracking logic is invoked and the read request is served from a hard disk drive (HDD). Additionally, the SSD memory tracking logic determines whether a fetch criteria for the data has been met, the fetch criteria determining which requests for data are associated with reading random data, and loads the data corresponding to the read request in the SSD memory when the fetch criteria has been met. In another embodiment, a computer program implements the method.
"In another embodiment, a method includes an operation for determining whether data corresponding to a read request is available in a solid state drive (SSD) memory when the read request causes a miss in a memory cache. The method further includes an operation for serving the read request from the SSD memory when the data is available in the SSD memory. SSD memory tracking logic is invoked and the read request is served from a hard disk drive (HDD) when the data is not available in the SSD memory. Invoking the SSD memory tracking logic includes determining whether a fetch criteria for the data has been met, the fetch criteria determining which requests for data are associated with reading random data, and loading the data corresponding to the read request in the SSD memory when the fetch criteria has been met. In addition, the SSD memory acts as a memory read cache and the SSD memory does not act as a write memory cache.
"In another embodiment, a system for managing computer storage is presented. The system includes a cache manager, HDD storage, a RAM cache, and an SSD cache. The RAM cache and the SSD cache store data from HDD storage. The cache manager determines whether data corresponding to a read request is available in the SSD cache when the read request causes a miss in the RAM cache. The read request is served from the SSD memory if the data is available in the SSD memory. If the data is not available in the SSD cache, then SSD memory tracking logic is invoked and the read request is served from the HDD storage. The SSD memory performs as a read cache for the HDD storage, but it does not perform as a write cache.
"It should be appreciated that the present invention can be implemented in numerous ways, such as a process, an apparatus, a system, a device or a method on a computer readable medium. Several inventive embodiments of the present invention are described below.
"Other aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the invention."
For additional information on this patent, see: Mittendorff, Steffen;
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