A byte's point-to-point journey from memory to spinning spindle and back

It will be much appreciated if you could provide the steps that one byte has to take when going from memory to...

a spinning spindle and vice versa. I understand that the answer is not a short one so if you know of any document where to get this information please let me know.

The only place I've ever seen this is in my book, "Building Storage Networks", Second Edition but I'll try to give you the text shorthand version here. Start at the top and read down.

Kernel (interface)
File system
File system memory cache
Volume manager or virtualization agent
Abstraction layer storing device driver (storage command interpreter mostly)
Low-level device driver (physical connectivity)
System memory bus
System I/O bus
Host adapter controller wiring (bus or network) including any virtualization operators in the path
Subsystem controller
Subsystem cache (optional)
Subsystem internal connectivity
Device controller
Device buffer memory
Device media

There, that's pretty close to a generic point-by-point journey from application to media.


Editor's note: Do you agree with this expert's response? If you have more to share, post it in one of our .bphAaR2qhqA^0@/searchstorage>discussion forums.

This was first published in April 2003

Dig Deeper on SAN management



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.



Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:



  • Flash technologies remain hot in 2016, experts predict

    Experts predict solid-state technology will remain hot in 2016, leading to the demise of high-speed hard disk drives, as ...

  • Tintri VMstore T5000

    Like all of its VM-aware storage systems, Tintri’s first all-flash array -- the Tintri VMstore T5000 -- allows admins to bypass ...

  • SolidFire SF9605

    The high-capacity SolidFire SF9605 uses SolidFire’s Element OS 8 (Oxygen) to deliver new enterprise features such as synchronous ...