Storage Management TEG: Questionnaire Level 1 - Fabio Hernandez

This twiki is to collect the input of Fabio Hernandez. Please answer the questions below. For more information, please refer to the Storage TEG main twiki.

Preamble and Disclaimer

The opinions expressed here are from the perspective of someone involved in the past in the operations of WLCG sites (tier-1 & tier-2). They may or may not represent the opinions of the people currently operating those sites.

Question 1

- In your view, what are the 3 main current issues in Storage Management (SM)?

My answer:

  • complexity of the storage models (i.e. SRM, space tokens, proprietary protocols, etc.)
  • complexity of the storage systems used requiring highly skilled people to operate them
  • sustainability of the development of the tools used almost exclusively by our community
  • sustainability of the operations at the site level: given the expected growth in storage capacity required by the experiments, can we successfully operate the storage systems within the limits of the inelastic available manpower?

Question 2

- What is the greatest future challenge which would greatly impact the SM sector?

My answer:

  • not compliance to standards used elsewhere: to continue using systems used only in our community, not making it possible to benefit from nor to contribute to the work on other communities and by industry. Can we as a community be self sufficient developing our own tools for the expected lifetime of the LHC?

Question 3

- What is your site/experiment/middleware currently working on in SM?

My answer:

incessantly trying to understand how the systems work and how they are used by the experiments.

Question 4

- What are the big developments that you would like to see from your site/experiment/storage system in the next 5 years?

My answer:

  • reduce the complexity of the system (keep only the very essential functionality that has proven crucial according to the acquired experience with real data so far)
  • make them more operable within the limited manpower budget - evolve towards using more standard protocols and components (for instance, file protocol as opposed to proprietary protocols, HTTP vs. gridFTP, ...)

Question 5

- In your experience and area of competence, what are the (up to) 3 main successes in SM so far?

My answer:

  • the main success in my opinion is that the experiments have been able to process the data coming out of the LHCb in a timely manner. Given the scale of the infrastructure and the amount of data, this can be considered an achievement.
  • also, the sites have been able to provision and operate the storage services needed by the experiments.

Question 6

- In your experience and area of competence, what are the (up to) 3 main failures or things you would like to see changed in SM so far?

My answer:

I would not consider it a failure, but from the perspective of a site, the complexity of the storage infrastructure needed to serve the LHC experiments is certainly a cause of concern. The storage systems used by the sites, in particular the sites providing big storage capacity, require highly skilled people, and even with them, the sites are difficult to operate at the levels of reliability required by the experiments.

That's it!

Thanks! Feel free to edit again at any time, until the date of the kick-off meeting.

-- DanieleBonacorsi - November 2011

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Topic revision: r2 - 2011-11-10 - FabioHernandez
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