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Howard Marks
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Not So Good Vibrations

A YouTube video by Sun makes clear to the masses just how sensitive disk drives are to vibration

1:00 PM -- Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA) recently posted a video on YouTube in which one of their engineers yells at a drive array to demonstrate that Sun's Fishworks software, specifically Dtrace, can not only document that yelling at your disk array can increase I/O latency but can also report which drives are causing the delay in real time.

While the video is amusing, and the Fishworks software that drives Sun's 7000 systems is impressive, this little demonstration makes clear to the masses just how sensitive disk drives are to vibration. The storage cognoscenti have long known that managing vibration, along with airflow, is the difference between a JBOD from Xyratex and the 16-bay Taiwanese server case Akbar and Jeff's Server Hut uses.

A clever group of coders in Austria even developed the Tsunami Harddisk Detector that uses the SMART (self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology) data from hard drives around the world to detect tsunamis and, hopefully, give coastal dwellers enough warning to allow them to flee to higher ground before the wave makes landfall. You can download it here

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage ... View Full Bio
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