Not So Good Vibrations

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

Howard Marks

January 9, 2009

1 Min Read
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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

About the Author(s)

Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger

Howard Marks</strong>&nbsp;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 systems, networks, management systems and Internet strategies at organizations including American Express, J.P. Morgan, Borden Foods, U.S. Tobacco, BBDO Worldwide, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the State University of New York at Purchase. The testing at DeepStorage Labs is informed by that real world experience.</p><p>He has been a frequent contributor to <em>Network Computing</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>InformationWeek</em>&nbsp;since 1999 and a speaker at industry conferences including Comnet, PC Expo, Interop and Microsoft's TechEd since 1990. He is the author of&nbsp;<em>Networking Windows</em>&nbsp;and co-author of&nbsp;<em>Windows NT Unleashed</em>&nbsp;(Sams).</p><p>He is co-host, with Ray Lucchesi of the monthly Greybeards on Storage podcast where the voices of experience discuss the latest issues in the storage world with industry leaders.&nbsp; You can find the podcast at:

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