July 10, 2004

Storage Consolidation and Virtualization: Part 1

7/10/2002 -- In 1965, Intel's future founder Gordon Moore observed that the number of components in the average integrated circuit was doubling every year in relation to cost. Though it originally described a specific trend in chip manufacturing, "Moore's Law" proved remarkably predictive of advances in other high-tech industries. However, as Moore was aware, exponential growth is unlimited only in the mathematical sense. Many industries fail to fulfill his prophecy.

For instance, memory access times are increasing more slowly than processor speeds, resulting in a processor-memory gap. Today's processors typically spend more time waiting for data to be retrieved than processing it. Consequently, modern computers are stuffed with software and hardware caches, so that frequently used data need not be retrieved from memory repeatedly. Mismatched component performance of this sort limits a system's capabilities, but clever design can usually ameliorate the deficiencies.

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