GreenFS: Making Enterprise Computers Greener by Protecting Them Better

TitleGreenFS: Making Enterprise Computers Greener by Protecting Them Better
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJoukov, Nikolai, and Sipek Josef
Conference Name3rd ACM SIGOPS/EuroSys European Conference on Computer Systems 2008 (EuroSys '08)
Date Published04/2008
Conference LocationGlasgow, Scotland
ISBN Number978-1-60558-013-5

Hard disks contain data - frequently an irreplaceable asset of high monetary and non-monetary value. At the same time, hard disks are mechanical devices that consume power, are noisy, and fragile when their platters are rotating.

In this paper we demonstrate that hard disks cause different kinds of problems for different types of computer systems and demystify several common misconceptions. We show that solutions developed to date are incapable of solving the power consumption, noise, and data reliability problems without sacrificing hard disk life-time, data reliability, or user convenience.

We considered data reliability, recovery, performance, user convenience, and hard disk-caused problems together at the enterprise scale. We have designed GreenFS: a fan-out stackable file system that offers all-time all-data run-time data protection, improves performance under typical user workloads, and allows hard disks to be kept off most of the time. As a result, GreenFS improves enterprise data protection, minimizes disk drive-related power consumption and noise and increases the chances of disk drive survivability in case of unexpected external impacts.