News Column

Patent Issued for Data Device Spares

June 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, MA) has been issued patent number 8751739, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Bjornsson, Magnus E. (Sudbury, MA).

This patent was filed on March 31, 2011 and was published online on June 10, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "This application relates to computer storage devices, and more particularly to the field of allocating storage devices for use.

"Host processor systems may store and retrieve data using a storage device containing a plurality of host interface units (host adapters), disk drives, and disk interface units (disk adapters). Such storage devices are provided, for example, by EMC Corporation of Hopkinton, Mass. and disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,206,939 to Yanai et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,778,394 to Galtzur et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,147 to Vishlitzky et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 5,857,208 to Ofek. The host systems access the storage device through a plurality of channels provided therewith. Host systems provide data and access control information through the channels to the storage device and the storage device provides data to the host systems also through the channels. The host systems do not address the disk drives of the storage device directly, but rather, access what appears to the host systems as a plurality of logical disk units. The logical disk units may or may not correspond to the actual disk drives. Allowing multiple host systems to access the single storage device unit allows the host systems to share data stored therein.

"In some cases, it may be possible to organize storage into 'pool' that are accessed by an application or set of applications (e.g., owned by a particular user or organization). Such pools are useful for a number of reasons, including the ability to manage and control storage for a particular user/organization. A storage pool may be assigned by a storage manager, who handles management of storage for an entire storage device.

"A drawback to using storage pools is the necessity of manually monitoring the size of the pools to ensure that none of the pools run out of space (i.e., an amount of data is written to a pool that exceeds the pool's capacity). In large systems, this may be impractical, especially if there are a significant number of storage pools.

"Accordingly, it is desirable to be able to allocate more space for storage pools in an efficient manner."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "According to the system described herein, automatically allocating storage space for a storage pool includes providing at least one spares pool containing unused data devices and moving at least one the unused data devices to the storage pool in response to a write causing the available space of the storage pool to be exceeded and/or the available storage space of the storage pool exceeding a predetermined amount. The predetermined amount may be an amount of used storage space that varies according to at least one of: the size and activity level of the pool. The data devices may be logical devices. The pools may correspond to storage space in a single storage device. The pools may correspond to storage space in multiple storage devices. A cloud appliance may present storage from multiple storage devices as a single storage space. Automatically allocating storage space for a storage pool may also include determining if the spares pool contains sufficient data devices to provide the storage pool with enough memory for data written thereto. Automatically allocating storage space for a storage pool may also include performing error processing in response to the spares pool not containing sufficient data devices.

"According further to the system described herein, computer software, provided in a non-transitory computer-readable medium, automatically allocates storage space for a storage pool. The software includes executable code that provides at least one spares pool containing unused data devices and executable code that moves at least one of the unused data devices to the storage pool in response to at least one of: a write causing the available space of the storage pool to be exceeded and the available storage space of the storage pool exceeding a predetermined amount. The predetermined amount may be an amount of used storage space that varies according to at least one of the size and activity level of the pool. The data devices may be logical devices. The pools may correspond to storage space in a single storage device. The pools may correspond to storage space in multiple storage devices. The software may also include executable code that presents storage from multiple storage devices as a single storage space. The software may also include executable code that determines if the spares pool contains sufficient data devices to provide the storage pool with enough memory for data written thereto. The computer software may also include executable code that performs error processing in response to the spares pool not containing sufficient data devices.

"According further to the system described herein, a data storage device includes a plurality of disks and a plurality of directors coupled to the disks to handle dataflow therebetween, where the directors include executable code that provides at least one spares pool containing unused data devices and executable code that moves at least one of the unused data devices to a storage pool in response to at least one of: a write causing the available space of the storage pool to be exceeded and the available storage space of the storage pool exceeding a predetermined amount. The predetermined amount may be an amount of used storage space that varies according to at least one of: the size and activity level of the pool. The data devices may be logical devices. The directors may include include executable code that determines if the spares pool contains sufficient data devices to provide the storage pool with enough memory for data written thereto."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Bjornsson, Magnus E.. Data Device Spares. U.S. Patent Number 8751739, filed March 31, 2011, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8751739.PN.&OS=PN/8751739RS=PN/8751739

Keywords for this news article include: Software, EMC Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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