Resource-Based Striping: An Efficient Striping Strategy for Video Servers Using Heterogeneous Disk-Subsystems


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Abstract

In building a large-scale video server, it is highly desirable to use heterogeneous disk-subsystems for the following reasons. First, existing disks may fail, especially in an environment with a large number of disks, enforcing the use of new disks. Second, for a scalable server, to cope with the increasing demand of customers, new disks may be needed to increase the server's storage capacity and throughput. With rapid advances in the performance of disks, the newly added disks generally have a higher data transfer rate and a larger storage capacity than the disks originally in the system. In this paper, we propose a novel striping scheme, termed as resource-based striping (RBS), for video servers built on heterogeneous disks. RBS combines the techniques of wide striping and narrow striping so that it can obtain the optimal stripe allocation and efficiently utilize both the I/O bandwidth and storage capacity of all disks. RBS is suitable for applications whose files are not updated frequently, such as course-on-demand and movie-on-demand. We examine the performance of RBS via simulation experiments. Our results show that RBS greatly outperforms the conventional striping schemes proposed for video servers with heterogeneous or homogeneous disks, in terms of the number of simultaneous streams supported and the number of files that can be stored.

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