Storage I/O and the Laws of Physics

“This is an update of one of my first articles for Enterprise
Storage Forum from way back in 2002. The article was well received,
so I figured it was time to see what has changed – if
anything – in our industry over the last 8 years. What I
found is that things have only gotten worse when it comes to
managing storage. Simple physics defines the limitations under
which you have to work. The movement of data from applications to
hardware devices is limited by physical constraints within the
computer and its storage hardware.

“First, let’s compare the fastest computers and the fastest
storage disk storage devices from 1976, 2002, and today, to get a
better understanding of the changes we’ve seen over the last 26

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