More more quick storage note for the day…

Rik van Riel posted a nice list of research issues to the linux-kernel mailing list talking about open problems in computer science. One of the things that he points out is that, by some metrics, computers are actually getting a lot slower. For example, the amount of time it takes to read an entire hard drive, or the amount of time it takes to scan through all of RAM. The basic problem is that storage capacity is growing faster then storage speed can keep up. That throws things out of balance, which means that a lot of the old assumptions that we’ve grown accustomed to are starting to be wrong now, and will be really wrong in the future if things don’t change. For example, the optimal disk block size for reads and writes, focusing solely on throughput, is probably around 1 MB right now for most drives. Reading 1 MB only takes a bit longer then reading a single sector from the disk.

Interesting stuff to think about.