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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Periodic Rotational Vibration Check for Storage Devices to Compensate for Varying Loads", for Approval

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Cagno, Brian James (Tucson, AZ); Green, Kenton Coleman (Cary, NC); Jones, Carl Evan (Tucson, AZ); O'Connell, Michael Desmond (Rochester, MN), filed on February 20, 2014, was made available online on August 28, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates in general to rotational vibrations in a storage device, and more particularly to a periodic rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads.

"When it comes to data storage, more is never enough. Each time an increase in storage capacity is provided, new applications and uses for the increased capacity are developed, which leaves consumers and businesses needing even more. The advent of digital pictures, music and movies led to a greater diversity and capacity of storage systems and services. For example, consumers wanting to store more music, photos and videos look to the storage industry to pack more and more storage capacity on smaller devices.

"Businesses' demand for storage also shows no signs of abating. E-mail and other reference demand for storage continues to be insatiable, particularly with the increasing importance and volume of e-mail, content-rich media and other reference data. In addition, the financial industry faces stringent requirements for data protection and retention, further increasing data volumes. Meanwhile, growing global competition has accelerated the need for improved business productivity, which require more frequent and intelligent access to transaction data. Such transaction data often must be protected and retained much longer.

"Accordingly, the areal density needed to achieve today's demanded capacity points for magnetic and optical storage devices, such as disk drives tape drives, optical drives, etc., requires that data blocks be written with increasing accuracy relative to a track's center. External force or rotational vibration (RV) can cause a drive's head to deviate from the track center. Storage devices generate emitted vibration, given their mechanical nature. There are two sources of a drive vibration. Idle vibration occurs while the disk drive is spinning. Seek vibration occurs while the disk drive is seeking to a desired data position. Drives within a multi-disk enclosure are susceptible to the emitted vibrations of adjacent devices. Rotational Vibration (RV) is created when the vibration emitted from one or more disk drives operating in the enclosure induce vibration on adjacent drives. RV can cause increased seek times due to extended track settling time and results in an increased risk of an actuator traveling off track, thereby resulting in writes needing to be aborted or reads needing to be re-tried

"As storage device technology advances, rotational vibration as described above begins to play an even greater roll in performance. Drive vendors have realized this and newer drives designs utilized robust mechanical structures and damping materials to reduce vibrations and prevent RV problems. For example, previous designs have utilized accelerometers that the drive uses to compensate for rotational vibration so that performance is not degraded. However, this actually creates an issue in storage enclosure systems because problems in the system design can be masked. As storage array densities increase, rotational vibration is induced from adjacent storage devices in the system so that the rotational vibration increases and becomes more load dependant. Seeks on drives produce the most amount of rotational vibration. Since different customers can be running unique loads, it is possible that a vibration level is hit that can cause data loss.

"It can be seen that there is a need for a periodic rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "To overcome the limitations in the prior art described above, and to overcome other limitations that will become apparent upon reading and understanding the present specification, the present invention discloses a periodic rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads.

"The present invention solves the above-described problems by maintaining a variable representing rotational vibration status in a rotational vibration log. The variable is processed to determine whether a storage device exhibits a rotational vibration issue. Workload analysis performed to identify a change to the workloads run on physically separate hardware to resolve the rotational vibration issue and thus eliminate the need for more expensive hardware.

"A program product comprising a computer readable medium embodying at least one program of instructions executable by a computer to perform operations to monitor rotational vibrations is provided. The operations include monitoring rotational vibration in a storage system, analyzing system workloads and reconfiguring the storage system based upon the analysis of the system workloads to reduce the rotational vibration.

"In another embodiment of the present invention, a system is provided. The system includes a processor and memory, coupled to the processor, the memory comprising a computer usable medium embodying at least one program of instructions to perform operations, the operations include monitoring rotational vibration of at least one storage device in a storage system, analyzing system workloads and reconfiguring the storage system based upon the analysis of the system workloads to reduce the rotational vibration.

"In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for providing a periodic rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads is provided. The method includes accessing, by a service provider, a rotational vibration log associated with at least one storage device in a storage system and analyzing the rotational vibration log to resolve a rotational vibration problem indicated by the rotational vibration log.

"In another embodiment of the present invention, a program product is provided. The program product includes a computer readable medium embodying at least one program of instructions executable by a computer to perform operations to monitor rotational vibrations, wherein the operations include maintaining rotational vibration data associated with at least one storage device of a storage system in a rotational vibration log and using the rotational vibration data to correct a rotational vibration issue.

"In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for providing a periodic rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads is provided. The method includes maintaining rotational vibration data associated with at least one storage device of a storage system in a rotational vibration log and using the rotational vibration data to correct a rotational vibration issue.

"These and various other advantages and features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and form a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and the objects obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to accompanying descriptive matter, in which there are illustrated and described specific examples of an apparatus in accordance with the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Referring now to the drawings in which like reference numbers represent corresponding parts throughout:

"FIG. 1 illustrates a storage system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 illustrates one storage system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 shows an example of a center track of a storage device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 illustrates one example of an optical storage device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 illustrates one example of a tape drive according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 illustrates a storage system wherein storage devices pass a variable associated with its rotational vibration (RV) for maintenance in a rotational vibration log according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 7 is a flow chart of a method for providing a periodic rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is a flow chart showing greater detail of a method for maintaining RV logs for providing a rotational vibration check for storage devices to compensate for varying loads according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is a flow chart of a method for analyzing the RV log to identify corrective action to be taken to compensate for RV issues according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 is a flow chart of the service provider maintenance process according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 11 is a flow chart of the process performed by a service provider to identify RV issues."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Cagno, Brian James; Green, Kenton Coleman; Jones, Carl Evan; O'Connell, Michael Desmond. Periodic Rotational Vibration Check for Storage Devices to Compensate for Varying Loads. Filed February 20, 2014 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4330&p=87&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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