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.
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 cache (optional)
Subsystem internal connectivity
Device buffer memory
There, that's pretty close to a generic point-by-point journey from application to media.
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This was first published in April 2003