ViPEr-HiSS: A Case for Storage Design Tools

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The viability of large-scale multimedia applications, depends on the performance of storage systems. Providing cost-effective access to vast amounts of video, image, audio, and text data, requires (a) proper configuration of storage hierarchies as well as (b) efficient resource management techniques at all levels of the storage hierarchy. The resulting complexities of the hardware/software co-design in turn contribute to difficulties in making accurate predictions about performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of a storage system. Moreover, poor decisions at design time can be costly and problematic to correct in later stages of development. Hence, measurement of systems after they have been developed is not a desirable approach to predicting their performance. What is needed is the ability to evaluate the system's design while there are still opportunities to make corrections to fundamental design flaws. In this paper we describe the framework of ViPEr-HiSS, a tool which facilitates design, development, and subsequent performance evaluation of designs of multimedia storage hierarchies by providing mechanisms for relatively easy experimentation with (a) system configurations as well as (b) application- and media-aware resource management techniques. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-99-69)