The patent's assignee for patent number 8645662 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments relate generally to data storage environments, and, more particularly, to auto-tiering of file systems in data storage systems within a common resource pool.
"Many types of storage devices are available for storing data, each type having an associated cost, access speed, reliability, etc. Multiple storage devices of the same or different types can be provided as a resource pool, which may be managed as a storage system in which logical storage units can be identified by logical unit numbers (LUNs). The LUNs are often used to store file systems, which are typically collections of data relating to an application or group of applications. Notably, different types of file system data, even within a single file system, may be accesses frequently or infrequently, sequentially or non-sequentially, or in other ways. As such, optimizing a storage system (e.g., cost, throughput, etc.) can involve allocating appropriate amounts of appropriate types of LUNs to a file system.
"One traditional approach is to choose a single, best type of LUN to use for storing file system data, accounting for trade-offs between various LUN metrics. Different types of storage can only be exploited by swapping out one or more of the original LUNs with a different type of LUN and moving some or all of the file system data. Another traditional approach is to choose two or more types of LUN, categorized into two or more storage classes, and to store different portions of the file system in those different storage classes. This approach allows exploitation of different storage types, but only through manual movement of the data between the storage classes and typically only within fixed LUNs (or partitions of LUNs) allocated to the particular file system.
"For example, a data storage system is commonly used to store multiple file systems concurrently, and that each file system is guaranteed a certain capacity. That capacity can be ensured by selecting a subset of available LUNs in the storage system, or by generating fixed partitions within LUNs, to associate with each file system. All file system data is stored only on those LUNs and/or partitions, and those LUNs and/or partitions provide at least the guaranteed capacity. In this type of environment, data can be promoted or demoted between storage classes only through very coarse, manual operations, such as by moving an entire file system to a new LUN or by swapping out an entire LUN.
"More recently, auto-tiering approaches became available. As with the preceding approach, a system administrator selects LUNs or partitions within LUNs as a priori resource allocations for file systems. A storage manager is used to monitor usage by the file systems of their respective allocated resources (e.g., data blocks). The storage manager can move file system data to data blocks of different storage classes within the file system's allocated resources. For example, some systems always store new data by default to the most expensive storage class, and the data can be promoted or demoted over time depending on how often and/or in what manner the data is accessed. Other systems initially store data according to an a priori quality of service characterization of the file system or the file system data (e.g., by the system administrator) and move the data, as needed, to optimize performance. While these auto-tiering techniques can appreciably improve performance of many file systems, they are still limited in a number of ways. For example, many such systems can promote or demote data only within the a priori allocations associated with a file system, only at the LUN level, etc."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Among other things, systems and methods are described for providing auto-tiering functionality for multiple file systems across a common resource pool. Embodiments operate in a file system stored in block storage across a virtualized storage system having a number of storage classes (each having logical storage units identified by logical unit numbers, or LUNs). Some or all of a resource pool (i.e., a set of logical block addresses that identify data blocks) is allocated for use as a sub-LUN auto-tiering (SLAT) sub-pool. The SLAT sub-pool is managed as a single virtual address space with a virtual block address for each logical block address of the SLAT sub-pool. A SLAT file system can be generated by allocating and associating a portion of the single virtual address space as its set of virtual block addresses. Mappings are maintained between each logical block address in which file system data is physically stored and a virtual block address in the SLAT file system's virtual address space. As data operations occur (e.g., data is added, removed, promoted or demoted due to auto-tiering operations, etc.), the mappings are updated accordingly. In this way, multiple SLAT file systems can exploit the full resources of the common SLAT sub-pool and maximize the resource options available to auto-tiering functions.
"According to one set of embodiments, a method is provided for auto-tiering in a storage resource pool having a number of storage classes, each with one or more storage devices configured to store data blocks. The method includes: allocating, from a top level storage manager to a sub-LUN auto-tiering (SLAT) storage manager, a SLAT sub-pool including a portion of storage resources of each of at least two storage classes; generating a common SLAT address space having a plurality of logical block addresses each corresponding to a data block of the SLAT sub-pool; and initializing a SLAT file system as a virtual address space of a predetermined total capacity in the SLAT address space using the SLAT storage manager.
"According to another set of embodiments, a data storage system is provided. The data storage system includes: a number of storage classes, each having one or more storage devices configured to store data blocks; a top-level storage manager configured to manage storage resources across the storage classes; a sub-LUN auto-tiering (SLAT) storage manager configured to manage a SLAT sub-pool including a portion of storage resources of each of at least two storage classes allocated from the top-level storage manager and to generate a common SLAT address space having a number of logical block addresses each corresponding to a data block of the SLAT sub-pool; and at least one SLAT file system comprising a virtual address space of a predetermined total capacity, each virtual address space configured to be mapped to a corresponding one of the number of logical block addresses in the SLAT address space according to a SLAT mapping."
For additional information on this patent, see: Burton,
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and
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