A paper by HP Labs researchers that discusses a new storage
technology based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) has
been selected as "best paper" at the 2nd USENIX Conference
on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '03).
Using MEMS-based storage in disk arrays was written by Mustafa
Uysal, Arif Merchant, both of the Storage Systems Department,
and Guillermo A. Alvarez, formerly of HP Labs, now at IBM
Almaden Research Center.
In the paper, the researchers argue that MEMS storage --
chips containing thousands of small, mechanical probe tips
that access data on flat rectangles of storage media -- will
offer a new set of performance and cost characteristics that
bridge the gap between disk drives and caches.
After a careful evaluation, they show that replacing disks
with MEMS-based storage can improve the array performance
dramatically, with a cost-performance ratio several times
better than convention arrays -- even if MEMS storage costs
ten times as much as disk.
Held March 31-April 2 in San Francisco, FAST '03 brings together
storage systems researchers and practitioners to explore new
directions in the design, implementation, evaluation, and
uses of storage systems.
John Wilkes, an HP
Fellow and researcher at HP
Labs, is a FAST '03 keynote speaker. Four of the 18 papers
selected for the conference were written by researchers at